An Overview of the Buddhist Temple
Constructed when the Sukhothai Kingdom shifted its capital to Phitsanulok, Wat Ratchaburana is a Buddhist temple that aids in illuminating Phitsanulok’s long and intriguing history. The temple is located in the center of the city, on the west bank of river Nan, and to the south of Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahatat Woramahawihan – the most visited temple of the province. Also linked to Wat Nang Phaya, Wat Ratchaburana won’t stun you, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you’re passing by. The main highlight of the temple is an old tiered brick mound that leads up to an elegant bell-shaped chedi. Also to be seen is an ordination hall housing murals that date back to 150 years, depicting visuals from the Ramakien epic. The central location of Wat Ratchaburana will make it easy for you to wander through.
The History of Wat Ratchaburana
In the year 1463, King Boromma Trailokanat of Ayutthaya shifted his empire’s capital to Phitsanulok, while ordering the construction of new temples as well as the renovation of existing ones. The origin of Wat Ratchaburana goes back to the commencement of the King’s reign in Phitsanulok. He had the chedi built along with many other buildings on the campus of the temple. Today, the majestic chedi is all that is remaining of the original construction. There are, however, other buildings that have also been restored among the ruins. King Mongkut or Rama IV, at one time, had led the restoration project of Wat Ratchaburana.
Main Features of Wat Ratchaburana
The most important feature of Wat Ratchaburana is the ancient chedi. Dating back to 600 years, it enshrines the relics of the Buddha. There is, however, no access to the spire of the chedi. There is a shrine nearby where you’ll find an impressive Sukhothai-style Buddha figure set amidst columns painted in red. Featuring an unorthodox roof structure, the building also houses a showroom that displays glass objects, musical instruments, old coins and banknotes. The walls of the shrine are nicely decorated with artistic frescoes. At Wat Ratchaburana, you’ll also see an old bell tower (Hor Rakhang), a newly built shrine with a beautiful garden as well as six swan figures standing beside the monastery. A meeting hall is also there on the temple’s campus.
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