The famous ‘Buddha head in the Tree roots’ in Wat Phra Mahathat of Aayutthaya - The Temple Town of Thailand

If you are in Aytthaya town of Thaialand, then one thing which you would never want to miss is Wat Phra Mahathat which has the popular Buddha head in the tree. Above photograph is quite popular Buddha photograph on internet and you get to see this special place inside  Wat Phra Mahathat . This Blogpost shares about Wat Phra Mahathat, Entry fees of Wat Phra Mahathat , timings, where to located Buddha head in the tree inside Wat Phra Mahathat  and lot more. 

Wat Phra Mahathat is not only about the Buddha head inside tree trunk but this whole compound has lot of very interesting things to explore including symmetrical architecture, it's ruins, lot of Buddha statues with varied kinds of deformations and varied sizes. Most of the photographs in this blogpost show decayed & broken structures, but it seemed like proper care in last many years, we can see  Wat Phra Mahathat  in reasonable state otherwise these structures may have deteriorated even badly. 

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Above photograph inside Wat Phra Mahathat  shows the spot where you see the famous Buddha head in the tree. It will be hard to believe that anybody visiting Ayutthaya would miss this place to explore. From the space and size of the tree and by looking at the photograph you can make out the size of this Buddha face. It's not a huge Buddha head, if I have to compare with various sized Buddha heads we saw in Thailand and Cambodia. Folks sitting in above photographs are trying to click the Buddha head in the tree and it's clear from the photograph that the head is at the bottom of this huge tree in Wat Phra Mahathat, Ayutthaya. 

Let's talk about Entry fees for Wat Phra Mahathat. If you only intend to go to one temple, then entry ticket costs around 50 Bahts. There is a one discounted ticket for whole day which gives you entry to every temple you visit in Aayutthaya. 

Ayutthaya Temples are made of 9 different sites, some of which you can enter for free and others that have a small entrance fee of 50 Baht ($1.5): 

Wat Phra Si Sanphet (fee: 50 baht), 
Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopit (fee: free), 
Wat Mahathat (fee: 50 baht), 
Wat Ratchaburana (fee: 50 baht), 
Wiharn at Wat Thammikarat (fee: free), 
Wat Suwan Dararam, 
Wat Phra Ram (fee: 50 baht), 
Phra Chedi Suriyothai (fee: free), 
Wat Borom Phuttharam (fee: free)

Wat Mahathat was also the residence of the Supreme Patriarch or leader of the Thai Buddhist monks. The temple is believed to be built during the 14th century A.D.

There are different dress codes for religious places like temples, mosques, churches etc, so we should also talk about dress code in Ayutthaya Temples :

Ayutthaya temples don’t have a strict dress code like most other temples in Thailand, which is little surprising. They are treated more as historic sites rather than active temples and that's the reason for not having any dress code. Having said that I would still recommend it's important to dress appropriately if you intend to go to different temples. Worship happens in some of the temples so it can be an issue. Having said that, it's not a challenge in Wat Phra Mahathat. 

Thailand temples dress code guidelines : Most other temples in Thailand require your knees and shoulders to be covered (both males and females). You can still wear shorts or a dress, but just have a long scarf with you to wrap around your waist.  

These beautiful red/orange structures around well maintained lush green lawns make these landscapes even beautiful. Especially on clear day, these temple complexes look even more beautiful. 

Wat Mahathat, the temple of the Great Relics is located almost right in the center of Ayutthaya. Apart from being the symbolic center where the Buddha's relics were enshrined. 

Timings of Wat Phra Mahathat are 8am till 6pm, everyday. 

The main prang collapsed multiple times and restored in the past. By looking at current state of the temple, it can easily deduced that the prang was quite high. As in most architecture of the early period of Ayutthaya, the main prang was the most important edifice in the temple compound.

There are many popular temples around Wat Phra Mahathat in Ayutthaya and at walkable distances. For reaching many of the temples you don't need Tuk-tuk but if you don't want to walk between the temples, then have a Tuk-tuk from morning till evening. Some of the temples are little far and you can also get tuktuk for single rides. 

Above photograph shows the model which shows original form of Wat Phra Mahathat in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Current state of Wat Phra Mahathat is very different than what you see in this model, but it's all worth to walk around these temples and explore wonderful architecture. 

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