Wat Chang Yai
Wat Chang Yai is near Wat Toom, located at 46, moo 1, tum bon Wat Toom, am phoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province. This temple was very important to Thai elephants and Thai sovereign in Ayutthaya Period. Pra Samu Somjitr Sangwudho, the abbot (Chao Awas) of Wat Chang Yai said that this temple was related to Mon people since ancient times due to Mon people here were talented in taming elephants for kings in Ayutthaya Period. The Chief of Mon people back then was promoted to be Jatulankabat, a person who looks after warrior elephants’ feet during wars. Then he was moved to a higher rank as the chief of the vanguard. Winning battles many times, he was promoted as “Phraya Rachamanu” and his highest rank was Chaophraya Akramahasenadhibhadi Samuhagalahom.”Elephants Mon people trained for kings were all strong, for example King Naresuan the Great’s elephant, Chaophraya Chaiyanupap whose highest rank was Chaophraya Prab Hongsawadi and King Ekatotsarot’s, Chaophraya Prab Trijakr. To honor Mon people and kings’ elephants’ abilities, local people were united to built a buddhist temple named “Wat Chang Yai” meaning Great Elephant.In front of the temple, lie the statue of King Naresuan the Great’s warrior elephant, Chaophraya Prab Hongsawadi, and also Kin Naresuan’s satue for those who visit to pay respect.Inside the temple there is “Viharn Luang Poh Toh”, an Ayutthaya Period style viharn. The walls of this viharn painted by painters in late Ayutthaya Period to early Rattanakosin. These mural paintings were made in Ayutthaya style: Budda Pajon Mara behind the main buddha image and Dhepchumnum on window sides. Besides its religious importance, this temple is also significant in terms of history. For more information, Tel. 0-3571-3201.