Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is an ancient royal monastery in Ayutthaya built in 1357. The monastery was destroyed by the Burmese in 1766 and only re-established again in 1957.
Today, Buddhist monks still hold regular meditation sessions at the monastery.
The Ubosatha Hall is the main hall of the monastery, with many worshipers and a myriad of glittering Buddha statues.
The brilliant chedi stands towering just behind the Ubosatha Hall, as if a guardian for the monastery. The chedi was only built later in 1592 by King Naresuan when he defeated the Burmese leader in a elephant duel to commemorate the victory.
The chedi at 60 m tall allows visitors to climb its weathered and worn steps to take a peek into an ancient and slightly claustrophobic space.
Statues of the Buddha and his disciples stand behind the chedi.
Buddha statues inside the chedi are coated with gold leaves.
There’s a well too – perhaps turned into a wishing-well looking at the notes and coins thrown in.
Unlike some of the temples in Ayutthaya which are mostly in ruins with sad sights of beheaded Buddha statues, you could see intact Buddha statues draped in yellow sash at Wat Yai Chai Mongkol that transform the compound into a tranquil and placid place.
More Info on Wat Yai Chai Mongkol
Opening Hours : 9 am – 6 pm.
Entrance Fee : 50 Baht.
Getting to Ayutthaya : Take the BTS Skytrain to Victory Monument, and take the mini vans to Ayutthaya. The vans leave when they get filled up within 15 – 30 minutes.