Glowing in incandescent hues, the temple overlooking the western bank of the Chao Phraya River will be awash in radiant light, turning each Friday, Saturday, Sunday and public holiday into an ethereal spectacle from 6.30pm till 10pm until the year’s end. This campaign aims to draw tourists like a moth to the flame of its ancient, stunning beauty.
Not merely a silent spectator, you’re invited to step into the frame of this living monument and pose against the historic backdrop of the temple. On offer is a chance to become part of history, donned in traditional Thai costumes, you can recreate snapshots from the vibrant period of 1351 to 1767, the era when the Ayutthaya Kingdom lavishly sprawled across territories of present-day Thailand.
Establishing itself as a golden chapter in the history books, the sacred temple first arose from the ground in 1630. It was the inaugural temple in the reign of King Prasat Thong, thereby invoking a name grandiloquent in its meaning – “the temple of the long reign and glorious era”. This architectural marvel, adorned in the aesthetic of the Khmer style, stood as a beacon of Buddhist merit-making. Its crowning glory is the central 35-metre-high Prang (pagoda), which asserts its majestic presence amidst four smaller prangs, all comfortably settled on a rectangular plinth.
This essence of architectural geometry extends further to eight surrounding chapels in chedi shape. Intricately connected by a rectangular cruciform cross-shaped corridor, known as Phra Rabieng, this strategic layout echoes the ingenuity of its ancestral architecture. Augmenting its mystic charm, the temple walls pay homage to 120 sitting Buddha statues, whose erstwhile color palette, perhaps, boasted vibrant shades of gold and black.
The temple experience offers an artistically fulfilling and entertaining immersion into Thailand’s traditional landscape. By involving visitors in historical fashion drama set against a grand illuminated backdrop, the temple aims to craft unforgettable narratives that go beyond mere sightseeing. Each night, under its prismatic cloak of lights, the temple invites us to explore and interact with Thailand’s golden age, painting vivid frames of Thai culture and heritage.