This pagoda is a very important archaic site in Ayutthaya Historical Park. This is the monument of the very first heroin of Thailand. Queen Si Suriyothai was killed during a fight on an elephant’s back between King Maha Chakraphat and King Prae of Burma. Her death is the proof of the honor of Thai ladies which had been recognized since the old time.
B.E. 2091 (A.D. 1548) King Maha Chakraphat accessed to the throne, with Queen Suriyothai being his wife. Seven months after his succession to the throne, King Tabeng Chaweti and Burengnong led Burmese troops to put Ayutthaya City under siege through Chedi Sam Ong Pass. King Maha Chakraphat, accompanied by his sons, rode on an elephant’s back to battle with Burmese troops. Queen Suriyothai was worried about her husband, so she dressed like a male warrior and rode on an elephant’s back to follow the king. Ayutthaya troops fought the front line troops of Burma which was Led by King Prae. King Maha Chakraphat accidentally directed his elephant to clash against King Prae’s elephant. King Maha Chakraphat’s elephant became inferior to the rival. Thus, Queen Suriyothai directed her elephant to guard her husband with the fear that her husband would be harmed until she was cut by a scythe rom her one shoulder in the diagonal line until she passed away on the elephant’s back. When the war was over, King Maha Chakraphat cremated his wife’s body and consecrated the temple where the queen’s body was cremated to be Suan Luang Sop Sawan Temple (from the original name of Sop Sawan Temple). Later, in the reign of King Rama V, there was the investigation on locations in the royal chronicle for writing the annals to be presented to King Rama V. Thus, the location of Sop Sawan Temple was identified. At the location of the temple, there was a huge pagoda with step-reduced. Later, King Rama VI named this pagoda ‘Si Suriyothai Pagoda’.
In A.D. 1990, Thai government assigned Department of Fine Arts and National Peacekeeping Council to restore the pagoda to be in its regional shape. From the restoration, Department of Fine Arts discovered many antiquities such as a Buddha image in Mara subduing posture, replicas of the pagoda and gold container of Buddha’s relics, all of which are now kept in Chao Sa Phra Ya National Museum.
Another reason that makes this area important is that is had been the area of Wang Lang (Rear Palace). Wang Lang was located by the wall of Ayutthaya City in the west side, opposite Kasatrathirat Temple, which was a garden for the king to occasionally visit with only a pavilion to for the king to rest. Later, in the reign of King Thammaracha, the king ordered the construction of a chateau for Prince Eakathosarot. After that, it became a place to stay of many royal family members. Now, it is the location of Si Suriyothai Pagoda.
Traveling Tip: Si Suriyothai Pagoda is in the west side of the city island, close to Office of Archaeology and National Museum 3, U Thong Road