Wat Mahathat Worawihan
Wat Mahathat, also locally known as Wat Na Phra That or Wat Sri Rattana Mahathat, is an ancient Temple situated on Khao Ngu road, Tambon Nha Muang, in the municipal area of Ratchaburi province. It is believed to be initially built since the Dvaravati era, around the 15th-16th Centuries of Buddhist Era.
Wat Mahathat Worawihan which local people call Wat Na Phrathat or Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat is an old Temple, situated on Khao Ngu Road, Tambon Na Mueang in Mueang Ratchaburi municipal area. It is believed that this temple was built in the Dvaravati Period, around the 10 th-11 th Century, nearly the same time as when the old city of Ratchaburi was built. Later, a Khmer or Lop Buri sanctuary was built over the temple around the 13 th Century to be the centre of the town according to the Khmer belief regarding the universe. Then, for fear that the sanctuary might tumble down, a new Phra Prang was built at the beginning of the Ayutthaya era, around the 15 th-16 th Century. Therefore, we can see the overlapping style of architecture. Moreover, interesting things in the temple are Wihan Luang where Phra Mongkhon Buri is enshrined. It is a stucco Buddha image in the gesture of subduing Mara, which has a lap width of 8 Sok 1 Khuep. Its characteristic is of the Pre-Ayutthaya art, with a Sukhothai style face. It has a long body but short knees. He turns his face to the east, and there is another Buddha image behind his back, turning its face to the opposite side or the west. This means we ask the Buddha’s blessing to prevent danger from the front as well as the back. Thus, it is also called Phra Raksamueang-city’s protective Buddha-along the belief of people in the Ayutthaya era. In front of the Wihan, there is a boundary wall made of laterite. Prang (ปรางค์) is a stupa with a height of 24 metres. The principal prang and other directional prangs in the south, the west and the north are situated on the same base. In the east, there is a porch with a staircase. The base, body and superstructure are decorated with stucco relief. The principal prang is connected with an antechamber with murals inside. The murals on the top part of the wall depict a row of the past Buddhas sitting in niches. The paintings in the lower part depict the life of the Lord Buddha. It is assumed that these murals were painted and repaired at the same time when the Prang was built and restored around the 17 th Century. There is a passage and cloister around the Prang complex housing stone Buddha images built in the Dvaravati, Lop Buri, and Ayutthaya Periods. The Reclining Buddha image is situated in front of the Phra Prang. It is a cement Buddha image, built in the Ayutthaya Period, with a length of 127 Khuep 9 inches, and this temple also has a museum exhibiting different styles of jars. How to get there: take the route to the Ratchaburi National Museum; then, turn left and go straight on for about 200 metres.