The “Venice of the East” in 1767 was destroyed by the Burmese army, which led to the building of the Ayutthaya historical park, and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The sheer splendour of Ayutthaya makes one forget that it is a balmy May afternoon when on a visit to the UNESCO World Heritage Site some 80 km from Thailand’s capital Bangkok. After lunch at a riverside restaurant at modern-day Ayutthaya, the visit to the once flourishing temple city is an enriching experience. Ayutthaya was founded in 1350 and it was the second capital of the Siamese kingdom. It was a global centre of economics and trade, and an important connecting point between the east and the west. The Ayutthaya royal court exchanged ambassadors across the world, including with the French court at Versailles, the Mughal court in Delhi and the imperial courts of Japan and China.
Right at the entrance of the Ayutthaya site, a plaque gives an idea of what it holds. “Wat Mahathat- the royal temple that houses Buddha’s relics,” it reads. It is situated in the east of the Royal Palace in Pratu Chai sub-district, Phra Na Korn Sri Ayutthaya district, Phra Na Korn Sri Ayutthaya Province. Read more.