Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan is considered one of the main Buddhist temples of Nakhon Si Thammarat. Listed among the six prime royal temples of Thailand it is interesting to note that it is also the oldest and the most respected- not in Nakhon Si Thammarat but in whole of Thailand. It is most noted for its huge Chedi which came into existence way before when the temple was not even constructed and is estimated to be about six hundred years elder to the remaining structure.
History of Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan
Researchers say that Chedi was constructed around 555 or 757, however the fact stands that it was constructed nearly at the center of the original walled city. Originally the Chedi was constructed in a square shaped structure which was popular in Srivijaya Empire and was way smaller than what its present size. As per sources, the Chedi was enlarged in 1227 when its shape was also changed to its current ‘Sri Lankan’ style. The temple around the pagoda was also built at the same time; hence the once lone Chedi now sits in a courtyard with has covered walkways and is also accompanied by 158 small pagodas. These pagodas, built by people over hundreds of years, are of varying styles and are places where ashes of various deceased persons are at rest.
In addition to this the place has an ordination hall which was built in 1600s as per Ayutthaya style; the chapel is noted for its red coffered ceiling plus alter where sits a big image of Buddha. The place also has a market where one can buy souvenirs, brass, baskets, silver and bronze etc; and a museum which exhibits the history of the temple and other artifacts.
Admission Fee: Temple: 30 Baht; Museum: 20 Baht
Opening Hours: 8 am till 4:30 pm.
Located 2 kilometers from city center, the place is easily accessible through a car rental. Plan your trip to Nakhon Si Thammarat with a car rental at hand for a care-free ride and that too at economical prices.