Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat

  John Shedrick

Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat

Right in front of Lopburi train station is probably the most important temple in Lopburi city, the 13th century Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat Lopburi. It also happens to be a monkey free zone! It’s a large complex with structures from several periods meaning various architectural styles; the oldest prang dates back around 800 years. There’s plenty to see so it will take at least 30 minutes to wander around with plenty of good photo ops. You will probably notice that the main prang of this temple is a little different to most ancient temples as the distinctive tower is very tall and unusually slender. Built with laterite (reddish clay soil), most of the detailed decorative work has eroded, but some of the stucco work and lintels can still be seen. On the central Prang you can make out fine stuccoed artwork (bas-relief) which depict scenes from the life of the Buddha, some of which are amazingly still intact. If you take a look at the interior of the viharn (main hall) which was added in the 17th century, you will find several Buddha images mainly in poor condition, including one on a masonry base known as "Chukkachi". An interesting sight in the top section of one subsidiary chedi is the stuccoed relief depictions of angels in adoration, each angel facing a different direction. In the upper part of another circular chedi which stands on a high square base, you can see alcoves containing images of the Buddha, but most are damaged.

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