Wat Ratchaburana boasts a spectacular Khmer-style prang, which is the largest stupa in Ayutthaya, and a quirky history as well.
In 1424, King Intharacharthirat died and two of his sons met on the site of the wat to contest the throne via an elephant duel. They both died, leading brother number three, Chao Sa Phraya, to take the throne. He ordered the building of the wat on the cremation site of his father and two older brothers.
In 1957 the crypt within the main prang was looted, but luckily some of the scoundrels were apprehended and some booty recovered. Visitors may play Indiana Jones and descend into the crypt to see stunning and ancient frescoes of the Buddha's life that have survived over the centuries. Note the headless Garudas that tirelessly hold up the main prang at its base, and the many broken, headless stone Buddhas that surround the complex.
How to get there
The entrance to Wat Ratchaburana is on Si Sanphet Road, located right across Naresuan Road from Wat Mahathat.
By David Luekens
Last updated on 27th November, 2014.