Wat Wora Chet Tha Ram is one of the many temple ruins that dot Ayutthaya, the ancient seat of power in Thailand. This region was once a thriving metropolis at the heart of the Thai civilization, boasting over 1 million inhabitants in 1700. Traders and merchants from all over Asia, the Middle East and parts of Europe came here to peddle their wares and broker trade agreements.
But all of that came to an end in 1767.
In 1767,King Tong-U of Burma invaded Ayutthaya and decimated the kingdom. Very few buildings were spared as they razed the capital. After the invasion Ayutthaya was all but abandoned and the few remaining structures crumbled with disrepair.
Today Ayutthaya is a combination of UNESCO World Heritage Site and functional city. The ancient city of Ayutthaya was never rebuilt, but several years after the short-lived Burmese occupation a small village popped up near the site of the old capital. That village took on the name of Ayutthaya and is now a thriving city that preserves and maintains the ruins that are nearby.
One of the structures that survived complete destruction is Wat Wora Chet Tha Ram.
The sign outside the temple reads: This Temple is behind the royal palace inside the city wall to the west. According to Ayutthaya annals, the temple was built by King Eakathosarot circa AD 1593 the year King Naresuan the Great died while leading an army to attack King Tong-U in Burma. In honor of his elder brother, King Eakathosarot built a mighty crematorium here and some 10,000 monks were invited to the royal cremation.
The main ancient shrine of the temple is a large brick and mortar Sukhothai-style bell shaped stupa. Inside the temple walls there are many buildings used for religious ceremony making, such as Vihara buildings, Ubosot Building and two small redented stupas on the same base.
As you can see, the large stupa is still intact along with two massive Buddha statues.
It is believed that this is where King Naresuan the Great was cremated.
The only remaining building on the temple grounds.
This is the interior of the temple. Not much remains except a well-preserved Buddha and the base of two small stupas.
Even though the site is in ruins, it’s still clear to see how much importance this site holds to the Thai people.
There are numerous restoration projects going on in the area and I really hope that Wat Wora Chet Tha Ram will be one of the sites restored to former glory.