This temple is a famous tourist attraction of Ayutthaya. Not only does this temple have spectacular historical constructions, especially the biggest pagoda in the province, but it also has monks residing inside.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon is hypothesized to be built in the early phase of Ayutthaya Era. Its original name is Wat Pa Kaeo. This temple was greatly renovated in the reign of King Naresuan the Great, when the big pagoda was built. The chronicle states that after King Naresuan killed the heir apparent of Hongsawadi in a fight on elephant’s back, King Naresuan was furious with his high ranking soldiers who was too sluggish and could not catch up with him. According to the laws, those soldiers subjected to execution, but Phra Phanarat (the Royal Patriarch) asked King Naresuan to spare the soldiers’ lives. Thus, the big pagoda was built to symbolize King Naresuan’s victory and the name of Wat Pa Kaeo was changed to Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon (the Great Temple of Victory).
After the fall of Ayutthaya, Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon was abandoned and restored in A.D. 1957 when it was turned into a functional temple with monks residing inside. Since then, the temple has been developed consistently.
Apart from the Big Pagoda (Chedi Yai Chai Mongkhon) that is an important archaic construction of the temple, there is also a reclining Buddha image that is enshrined outside because the pantheon in which the Buddha image was housed had been destroyed. This reclining Buddha image was also built in the reign of King Naresuan.
Opening Hours: Everyday, 08:00 – 17:00, Free Admission for Thais
Location: On No. 3477 Highway (Bang Pa-in – Ayutthaya), 1 kilometer from Chedi Wat Sam Pluem Round-a-bout