December 19, 2013

Sukhothai- A UNESCO World Heritage Historical Park...!!


The sun mellowed on a serene evening as we rode into the old world town of Sukhothai, a UNESCO world heritage historical park. The first capital of Thailand, Sukhothai which means 'The dawn of happiness' exudes the charm of the old world with numerous temples, pagodas and buddhist statues. Carpets of green are spread out everywhere with lots of trees and lotus ponds, and amidst all this wonderful landscape stands silently the ruined city of Sukhothai. 

More than 700 years ago, Sukhothai was the capital of  the flourishing Sukhothai kingdom which ruled post the Khmer rule from mid 13th century to mid 15th century. It was under the rule of King Ramkhamhaeng that the kingdom reached its prime. The kingdom did not last for long and lost its power to Ayutthaya kingdom leaving its numerous temples in ruins. 


Wat Mae Chon
Wat Sorasak
It was so peaceful with hardly a clatter from the surroundings. We entered the historical park when the sun was about to set, and the temples and pagodas looked gorgeous as they bathed in the orange light. I was lost amidst the ruined stupas and statues, admiring the grandeur of the wonderful structures and strolled past them in utmost silence. The place does have a lot of serenity imbibed into it and it is quite easy to stare at the huge statues of Lord Buddha in oblivion. The strikingly beautiful reflections of the tall pagodas on the still waters of the ponds were definitely attention grabbers. As the sun went down, the silhouettes of the pagodas made for some wonderful and dramatic frames.


Wat Mahathat


Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat
Wat Mahathat in the middle of the historical park is the largest and the most important of all temples. The central stupa is encircled by nearly 200 smaller stupas and has the most unique and grandest architectural style. Wat Chedi Si Hong and Wat Sra Si has beautiful Sri Lankan style architecture. Wat Phra Phai Luang in Bayon style architecture is the oldest and the second most important temple in Sukhothai. Wat Si Chum enshrines a  huge Buddha statue which is also known as 'the legendary talking Buddha image'. Wat Saphan Hin with a tall Buddha statue is located on a hill. Wat Chetuphon is renowned for its beautiful mondop, a square building with four arches and a pyramidal roof. Wat Si Sawai is another interesting temple in the historical park which has influences of Khmer rule. King Ramkhamhaeng monument and Ramkhamhaeng national museum are two of the must visit places inside Sukhothai historical park. Some of the other important temples are Wat Traphang Ngoen, Wat Chana Songkhram, Wat Sorasak and Wat Mae Chon.



Wat Traphang Ngoen

Monument of King Ramkhamhaeng the great.

One can hire bicycles or take a tram to go around the park. Si Satchanalai Historical park, 82 Kms from Sukhothai is another interesting place of visit with numerous temples. Sukhothai also boasts of Thailand's two best national parks- Ramkhamhaeng and Si Satchanalai.


Signing Note- Lose yourself amidst stupas, shrines and serenity...!!

Distance- Bangkok to Sukhothai- 442 Kms (Route 117)


P.S.- I was riding across northern Thailand with Ride Thailand on an invite from Tourism Authority of Thailand.

20 comments:

  1. indeed....beautiful!!

    http://www.myunfinishedlife.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Would want to visit Thailand just to get lost in these magnificent ruins. Serene.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Fascinating ruins at Sukhotai - tells the story of a magnificent era that has gone by. Reminded me of my recent visit to see the ruins at Nalanda University in Bihar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nalanda, Sarnath, Sukhothai- all look quite similar and brilliant!

      Delete
  4. Great shots from historical town.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Beautiful captures and in such lovely light. So this was the first capital! It looks grand.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Very beautiful and enchanting

    Visit my blog here- http://cerebralrendezvous.blogspot.in/

    ReplyDelete
  7. You didn't see wat Si Chum?
    The Buddha there is the most mesmerizing one.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found every statue and stupa to be mesmerizing.

      Delete
  8. Someday -- I hope I'll get the chance to walk among these structures.
    You sure had a great trip. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a lovely walk through those stupas. :). You must visit this place.

      Delete



LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...