Kamphaeng Phet

Kampaeng Phet Historical Park

Geography

Kampaeng Phetch is 482 kilometers from Bangkok. The river “Ping”, which flows through the city, divides the city with its contrasting landscape into the mountainous west and the plains in the east, where the new city of Kampaeng Phetch is located.

History

A famous Thai historian, Prince Damrong Rachanupab claims that in ancient times the ancient cities like Cha kang Rao, Nakorn Chum were on the west side of the river. However, another city was found across from Nakorn Chum, and this later became known as Kampaeng Phetch. When exactly these cities were discovered is still in the dark. But they are definitely backdated to at least 1357, since kampaeng Phetch was made the seat of the Crown Prince since 1358. This date refers to the reigns of King Li Thai of Sukhothai and King U-thong of Ayutthaya.

Attractions in Kampaeng Phet

The old town of Kampaeng Phetch, surrounded by a 5 meter high wall, offers beautiful old temples such as Wat Phra kaeo and Wat Phra That to visit, outside the city are Wat Phra Non, Wat Phra Si Iriyabot and Wat Chang Rob.

Wat Phra Kaeo

is in the middle of the city, north of the Royal Palace. The center of the Wat is a bell-shaped Stupa in Sinhala style on a square base decorated with niches. The lower row of niches contains 32 “singha”, the middle row has 16 Buddha statues, while the upper row has four verandas without any singhas or Buddha statues. To the east of the Stupa there are pillars with raised foundations. Next door you can see ruins of the lower part of what is believed to be part of a Mondop.

To the west of the Stupa is a reclining Buddha, on the base of which there are very small Stupas in a row. The big seated Buddha behind it is strangely from a later date. It is said that the Emerald Buddha was here once, hence the name of this Wats.

During the restoration of the wat, 35 basic columns of Stupa of different styles were found, eight Vihan – large and small as well as the base area of ​​three Bots. Because of this, this temple seems to be the largest and most important in Kampaeng Phetch.

Wat Phra That

The next large temple within the city wall, east of Wat Phra Kaeo, is Wat Phra That with its main Stupa made of laterite and brick, the square base of which is the foundation of the large Vihan made of laterite. The gallery surrounding the Stupa connects it to the Vihan.

In the gallery you can still see the interior of some stucco Buddha statues that were once placed here. To the north and south of the Vihans are Stupas, which are surrounded by a wall made of laterite.

Wat Phra Non 

This temple is located north of the city outside the old city wall, again surrounded by a laterite wall. A fragment of the discovered stucco “Singha” figure is shown in front of the Bot. The base of the Bot is 80 cm. High. There are stairs in front and behind.

The eight-sided column consists entirely of laterite. Behind the Bot one arrives at the Vihan, in which the reclining Buddha is located. On the western side of this Vihan there is a Stupa made of laterite on a square base, the top end of which is eight-sided in three layers. There is also a niche of Buddha statues behind the Stupa, a Vihan in front of the Stupa and seventeen ruins of Stupa foundations. Wat Phra Non is therefore regarded as a relatively large temple.

Wat Phra Si iriyabot

This temple is located north of Wat Phra Non and is commonly known as Wat Phra Yuen, surrounded by four laterite walls. In the courtyard in front of the Wat there is a laterite Vihan base that is about two meters high. Behind the Vihan is a four-gabled Mondop. The eastern side of this Mondops contains a walking Buddha, the northern side a reclining, the southern side a sitting and the western side a standing Buddha. All of these Buddha statues show the Sukhothai style of the Kampaeng Phetch school.

Wat Chang Rob

Located on a small hill. The main stupa is a bell-shaped chedi Ceylonese style with a square floor plan, on which the decorated front body of an elephant can be seen. There is a large Vihan in front of the stupa. In the north there is a medium-sized Bot base, surrounded by non-decorated boundary stones. During the restoration, numerous terracotta figures in various shapes were discovered, such as dancing girls, demons, hamsa angels and human faces. These figures represent both the late Sukhothai style and the early Ayutthaya style, the details of which give an idea of ​​the life and clothing of the people of that time. The objects are exhibited in the National Museum in Kampaeng Phetch.

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