Phra Chedi Sisuriyothai
This pagoda is situated at the original site of the Rear Palace, in the west of the city. It is a memorial to Somdet Phra Suriyothai, who was the royal consort of Phra Mahachakkaraphat and the first heroine in Thai History. When the Burmese army intruded in 1548, Somdet Phra Suriyothai, clad in a warrior’s suit, interrupted the fighting between the King and Phrachao Prae of Burma and was cut to death. Her death saved Ayutthaya from another attack from the Burmese.
Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai is located on the western part of the city island near the Office of Archeology and National Museum on U-tong Rd. This Phra Chedi is one of a very important archeological site in Ayutthaya Historical Park. It is the monument of the first Thai heroine, Somdet Phra Sri Suriyothai who died during an elephant duel between Maha Chakkraphat and the Viceroy of Prome and is also a symbol of Thai women’s honor in Thailand since the ancient time. During Ayutthaya period, Somdet Phra Maha Chakkraphat reigned the kingdom and had Somdet Phra Sri Suriyothai as his wife. After having reigned for 7 months, Tabinshwehti and Bayinnaung surrounded Ayutthaya by using the invasion route via the Three Pagodas Pass towards Kanchanaburi, and then to the capital Ayutthaya. Somdet Phra Chakkaphat mounted his war elephant with his son accompanying. Somdet Phra Sri Suriyothai was so worried that she dressed in make military attire and followed them on a war elephant. When the Ayutthaya army had faced the vanguard of Tabinshwehti’s army led by the Viceroy, Somdet Phra Maha Chakkraphat gave flight but the elephant charged away from the enemy. Somdet Phra Sri Suriyothai, therefore, charged ahead between the King and the Viceroy to block his pursuit and was fatally cleaved from shoulder to heart with his spear. After the war, Somdet Phra Maha Chakkraphat ordered a grand cremation and placed Queen Sri Suriyothai’s body at Suan Luang, the Royal Garden, was then known as Wat Sop Sawan. Afterwards, during the reign of Rama V, there were investigations to find places mentioned in the royal annals in order to compile into books. The finding led to the location of Wat Sop Sawan where the big Chedi was found. Rama VI later called it “Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai”. In 1990, The Fine Arts Department restored the damaged Chedi and, from the restoration, they found some ancient objects such as a glass image of Buddha, a model of the Chedi, and a golden casket with relics inside. They are all preserved in Chao Sam Phraya National Museum. Prof. Dr. Santi Leksukhum, a scholar of Thai archeology, found that Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai is probably the oldest among all Chedi with the same shape and is a unique architecture of Ayutthaya. Direction to Chedi Phra Sri Suriyothai http://www.tourismthailand.org/fileadmin/upload_img/Multimedia/Ebrochure/428/พระเจดีย์ศรีสุริ โยทัย%20cs5%20.pdf