Wat Mahathat (Thailand): Where the head of the Buddha growing in the roots of a banyan tree

(Aseanrecords.world) Wat Mahathat is located in front of the Grand Palace to the east, next to Pa Than Bridge. The Temple is believed to be one of Ayutthaya's oldest temples, possibly built by King Boromaraja I (1370-88).

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Wat Phra Mahathat, Thailand, was a royal Temple of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. It is one of the oldest and most significant temples in the history of Ayutthaya as it housed the Buddha’s holy relic. Many important royal ceremonies of the Ayutthaya era had been hosted here. When the Ayutthaya Kingdom failed in 1767, Wat Phra Mahathat was severely damaged by fire and was since abandoned. The temple is located in the area of the Ayutthaya Historical Park nowadays. attractions in Wat Phra Mahathat of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya include remains of important old buildings such as pagodas, octagonal pagodas, royal hall, small temples, murals under a Bodhi tree, and the famous sand-stone Ayutthaya-style head of the Buddha image in a tree’s root. Nearby attractions – The Ancient Palace, with only the basement of the building left to be seen today. – Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, an important temple in the royal palace of the Ayutthaya era. – Wat Ratchaburana, which stands opposite to Wat Phra Mahathat and is famous for its elaborately decorated main pagoda. – Wat Phra Ram, which was built in the reign of King Ramesuan in the area where his father, King Ramathibodi I, was cremated. – Vihara Phra Mongkhon Bo Phit, which was named after Phra Mongkhon Bophit, the sitting Buddha image with the gesture of Subduing Mara.

The attack of Ayutthaya saw the Burmese army destroy many of the statues and temples in Ayutthaya and, with them, their secrets. Whilst Buddha statues had their heads removed and taken, one remained — and became one of the most famous in the land. The head of the Buddha growing in the roots of a banyan tree is a haunting sight and proves a popular attraction for both local and foreign tourists who flock to the once-great city.

According to tourismthailand.org and theculturetrip.com