Buddha’s footprints; Buddhist temple without monks

  Buddha's footprints;  Buddhist temple without monks

Watfra C Sanfet is the holiest Buddhist temple in Thailand’s ancient capital, Ayutthaya. Watfra C Sanfet Temple later became a model for Watfra Cue in Bangkok. It was one of the most beautiful temples in existence. It was a royal temple and was visited only by the members of the royal family. It also has the distinction of being a temple without sadhus.

The construction of the temple began in the 14th century and was largely destroyed by the Burmese army in 1767. Only three huge stupas are left. It was later renovated in 1956 under the direction of the Department of Fine Arts. Restoring three ruined Buddhist stupas, the temple has now been renovated and is a beautiful sight. At the center of Watfra C Sanfet is a bell-shaped, gilded Buddhist stupa built in the classic, Ceylon style. Small chapels leading to the steep stairs can be seen everywhere. There are small Buddhist stupas on the roofs of the chapels. There is also a pavilion which is believed to have traced the footprints of the Buddha. The main structures of the temple are oriented from east to west.

Another important sight was the 16 meters high, gold-plated Buddha statue. About 340 kg of gold is said to have been plated on the Buddha statue. The idol was displayed in the hall where the king’s congregation met. During the Burmese occupation, he did not leave this heavy gold-plated statue alone. The gold was melted and taken to Burma. The remaining bronze corps was shipped to Bangkok. During excavations in the eastern part, the Department of Fine Arts discovered several miniature stupas.

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