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Sukhothai (Part 1)

Sukhothai is the ancient Capital of the -then- Tai people (no typing error!) Later during the Sukhothai period the Kingdom was called Siam for the first time.
The Sukhothai period covers the time from approximately 1240 to 1350 (Western Era) and comprises five or eight reigns, dependent on the fact if the "vassals" of the later Kingdom of Ayutthaya, during the last years of the Sukhothai era, should also be counted as reigns belonging to the period. King Ramkamhaeng was doubtless the most important King of Sukhothai.
The Historic Park of Sukhothai -as it is today- is recognized as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.

Wat Mahathat (1) Wat Mahathat (2)

When you enter the Historic Park, the first complex you will notice is that of Wat Mahathat, the main Wat of Historic Sukhothai. So that is the most logical place to start your visit to the Historic Park. We will do so here too in this "virtual visit".
On the left hand side picture above you see Wat Mahathat from the side (with the lotus-shaped chedi clearly showing), while on the right hand side picture Wat Mahathat is more or less hidden behind one of the fine Buddha Images you can see in old Sukhothai.

Wat Mahathat (3) Walking Monks

On the left hand side picture above you see Wat Mahathat from another point of view.
One thing typical for the Sukhothai era are the Buddha Images and Monk-images, in walking position. Almost everywhere in Thailand, whenever you see a Buddha Image, you will see it sitting down or standing. Hardly anywhere -except in Sukhothai- you will see walking Buddha Images. On the right hand side picture above you see a detail of the central part of Wat Mahathat, decorated with walking Monks.
An Image of the Buddha, in walking position, can be seen on the second of these Sukhothai pages. For more examples of walking Buddha's visit the Ramkamhaeng Historical Museum next to the Historic Park (photography is forbidden there).

Buddha Image in Wat Mahathat (1) Buddha Image in Wat Mahathat (2)

Inside the area formerly covered by Wat Mahathat, you can see a number of very fine Buddha Images, like the two pictured above. They have been preserved wonderfully well.

Buddha Image and pillars in Wat Mahathat

On several places in the area that was formerly Wat Mahathat other remains of the buildings that belonged to the "Wat" can be seen, like the pillars in the picture above.

Phra Attharot Buddha Image

The Buddha Image on the picture above is a very high one, as can clearly be seen. This is one of the two Phra Attharot Buddha Images belonging to Wat Mahathat. The name refers to their height.

On the next two pages we will leave Wat Mahathat and take a look at other parts of the Historic City of Sukhothai.

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