Completing our memorable visit to Wat Phanan Choeng (วัดพนัญเชิง), our next stop before lunch is Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล).
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล), also known as Great Monastery of Auspicious Victory is located in the southeastern area of Ayutthaya. Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล) is one of the major temples in the area.
As per the history, build by King U-Thong in the 1357 A.D, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล) is for the use of the monks whom had returned from Ceylon after studying under Phra Vanarat Maha Thera. This body of monks are also known as the Pa Kaeo Sect. The monks mainly engaged in meditation.
It is said that, during the reign of King Naresuan the Great back in 1592 A.D, the Burmese led an army to try to take over Ayutthaya. King Naresuan resisted the invasion and won when he fought on the elephant back with the Burmese leader. However, King Naresuan was disappointed that he was not able to inflict greater losses on the Burmese because many of his regiments did not managed to come to reinforce him in time.
King Naresuan then wishes to execute the officers of the regiments to end the war but Patriarch Vanarat (the head of the Pa Kaeo Sect) begged King Naresuan to forgive them. Instead, advised him to build chedis in memory of his victory.
So, one of the scene of the single-handed combat at Nong Sarai in Suphanburi while a bigger one is build on Wat Chao Phyathai. Then the second chedi was build and named Phra Chedi Chai Mongkol, also known as Great Pagoda which later became Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล). The chedi of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล) is one of the landmarks of Ayutthaya, standing high and visible to all who approach the city from the east. The bell-shaped principal chedi stands on an elevated square base with smaller chedis at the corner.
It was a super hot morning when we were exploring Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล), however, the weather did not stop us from enjoying the beautiful surrounding and understanding the history behind Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล).
All around the grounds of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล), there are more than twenty chedis of various sizes which contain the ashes of former sponsors of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล).
A large vihara measuring 15 meters by 39 meters are located at the western side of the great chedi.
A vihara has been build to honor King Naresuan that is located at the east of the monastery.
And on the northern side, are where the monk’s living quarters are located.
On the grounds of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล), there is also a beautiful Vihara of the Reclining Buddha that was also constructed during the reign of King Naresuan. This new image was remodeled in 1965 due to the ruined original by fortune hunters.
An interesting learning of Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล) history and exploration of the temple grounds, we are now ready to head for our highly anticipated lunch…. the famous river prawns of Ayutthaya.
Don’t miss our earlier exploration of Bang Pa-In Palace, our first stop in Ayutthaya.