Chaiwattanaram Temple – Ayutthaya

I was at Chaiwattanaram Temple the other day in Ayutthaya Thailand. Before I tell you something about the temple, here is a brief history for Thailand. Ayutthaya used to be the main capitol of Thailand or what was then known as Siam. Most of the city was destroyed when Thailand defeated by the Burmese and the capitol was moved down south, first to Thonburi and then Bangkok, the current capitol of Thailand.

Ayutthaya has an abundant of historical ruins and one of them is Chaiwattanaram Temple. During the golden age of Ayutthaya everything would have been covered in gold here. But all the gold was melted away and transported to Burma.

A unique feature of the architecture is that it was influenced by the Khmer or known today as the Cambodians. Early architectural constructions of Thailand were usually a symbiosis of Thai and Cambodian architecture. Chaiwattaram temple is great example of this.

When you visit a ruin as grand as this, you probably see for oneself that war in itself is never beautiful. It brings nothing but destruction. We must learn from our past and try to avoid warfare for it does not just kill people but destroy civilization and culture altogether.

Chaiwattaram temple was badly devastated by the Great Flood of 2011 and the ministry of culture is trying its best to preserve this historical site.  However, many of the pagodas are now slanted and the main foundation has been found to be unstable. It is not clear how to preserve this site so please come and visit while you still can.


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