Wat Lokaya Sutha, or “the Temple of the Earth,” is located near the historical island’s northwestern tip, near the old Royal Palace and Wat Phra Si Sanphet.
The monastery’s main attraction is its 42-meter-long Reclining Buddha image, usually draped in orange cloth. Apart from the central prang in good condition, little more than the foundations of the main buildings remain today.
History of the Wat Lokaya Sutha
The history of the monastery has yet to be discovered. Because of its proximity to the Royal Palace, it was most likely a significant temple.
Its founding date is unknown; however, based on the style of the central prang, which is built in the same manner as nearby Wat Ratchaburana and Wat Mahathat, the temple is thought to date from the early Ayutthaya period.
Wat Lokaya Sutha, like many other monasteries in Ayutthaya, was destroyed by Burmese armies during the 1767 invasion.
Wat Lokaya Sutha Architecture
The main structures of the temple are oriented east-west. The central chedi and the ubosot stand in the center of the monastery, surrounded by a gallery. A chedi stands at each courtyard’s four corners, with only the base remaining today. The remains of the Reclining Buddha viharn can be found to the west of the square, and three assembly halls can be located to the east.
The central prang in the monastery’s center
The central prang is located in the temple’s center. It was usually the first structure to be built. The corncob-shaped prang, which stands on an elevated base, rises to 30 meters. Its entrance faces the rising sun to the east. Some stucco ornamentation on the upper part remains visible.
The monastery’s three brick viharas (assembly halls), which are immediately adjacent to one another, can be found east of the central courtyard. The gallery that encircles the yard can be accessed from the westernmost point of the principal viharn, located in the center of the complex. Only their base structures are still standing today.
42 Meter long Reclining Buddha
One can find a viharn to the west of the central courtyard of the monastery, which houses a colossal image of the Buddha in the lotus position. The hall’s foundation and some of the octagonal pillars that once supported the roof are all left standing today.
The image, made of brick and mortar and measures 42 meters in length and 8 meters in height, bears the name Phra Buddha Sai Yat and faces west, in the direction of the setting sun. An orange cloth is used to drape the picture all the way around. The lotus buds support the head of the Buddha, which is held up by the right hand. The Thai Fine Arts Department completed the restoration of the picture in 1956.
Devotees place their offerings on a small altar in front of the image of the giant Buddha. The altar features a miniature version of the big Buddha.
Associated chedis subsidiary
Many chedis made of brick and in different styles were built later and are a way away from the temple. One of them is located close to the statue of the Reclining Buddha. Above the structure’s foundation are niches that hold stuccoed standing images of the Buddha. Further up the system, the slots have smaller stuccoed ideas of the Buddha overcoming Mara.