Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (city)

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya (Thai: พระนครศรีอยุธยา, pronounced [pʰráʔ ná(ʔ).kʰɔ̄ːn sǐː ʔā.jút.tʰā.jāː]; also spelled "Ayudhya"), or locally and simply Ayutthaya, is the former capital of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya Province in Thailand. It is located on an island on the confluence of the Chao Phraya and Pa Sak rivers.

Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya

พระนครศรีอยุธยา

Principality of Ayutthaya
City Municipality
City of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
เทศบาลนครพระนครศรีอยุธยา
Seal
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Location in Thailand
Coordinates: 14°20′52″N 100°33′38″E
Country Thailand
ProvinceAyutthaya
DistrictPhra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Named forAyodhya, Uttar Pradesh, India
Government
  TypeCity Municipality
  MayorSomsong Sappakosonlakul
Area
  Total14.84 km2 (5.73 sq mi)
Population
 (2020)
  Total50,830
  Density3,400/km2 (8,900/sq mi)
 Registered residents only
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Postcode
13xxx
Area code(+66) 35
Websiteayutthayacity.go.th/

Etymology

Ayutthaya is shown in the Fra Mauro map of the world (approximately 1450 CE, with south at the top) under the name "Scierno", derived from the Persian "Shahr-I-Naw", meaning "New City"[1]

Ayutthaya is named after the city of Ayodhya in India, the birthplace of Rama in the Ramayana (Thai, Ramakien); phra (from Khmer: ព្រះ Preah) is a prefix for a noun concerning a royal person; nakhon designates an important or capital city (from Sanskrit: Nagar); the Thai honorific sri or si is from the Indian term of veneration Sri.

History

Ayutthaya was founded in 1351[a] by King U Thong, who went there to escape a smallpox outbreak in Lopburi and proclaimed it the capital of his kingdom, often referred to as the Ayutthaya Kingdom or Siam. It is named after the ancient Indian city of Ayodhya, synonymous with Rama, the 7th incarnation of the Hindu God Vishnu. Ayutthaya became the second Siamese capital after Sukhothai.[2] It is estimated that Ayutthaya by the year 1600 had a population of about 300,000, with the population perhaps reaching 1,000,000 around 1700, making it one of the world's largest cities at that time,[3] when it was sometimes known as the "Venice of the East".[4][5]

In 1767, the city was destroyed by the Burmese army, resulting in the collapse of the kingdom. The ruins of the old city are preserved in the Ayutthaya historical park,[6] which is recognised internationally as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The ruins, characterised by the prang (reliquary towers) and gigantic monasteries, give an idea of the city's past splendour.[7] Modern Ayutthaya was refounded a few kilometres to the east.

Population

Since 2005, the population of Ayutthaya has been declining. [8]

Estimation date 31 Dec 2005 31 Dec 2010 31 Dec 2015 31 Dec 2019
Population 55,097 54,190 52,940 50,830

Geography

The city is about 40 miles (64 km) north of Bangkok.[9]

Climate

Ayutthaya, located in the central plains, is affected by three seasons:

  • Hot Season: March – May
  • Rainy season: June – October
  • Cool season: November – February
Climate data for Ayutthaya
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 31.0
(87.8)
33.3
(91.9)
35.4
(95.7)
35.9
(96.6)
34.3
(93.7)
32.6
(90.7)
32.0
(89.6)
31.4
(88.5)
31.3
(88.3)
31.3
(88.3)
30.7
(87.3)
30.0
(86.0)
32.4
(90.3)
Average low °C (°F) 17.0
(62.6)
19.4
(66.9)
22.3
(72.1)
24.3
(75.7)
24.5
(76.1)
24.3
(75.7)
24.0
(75.2)
23.8
(74.8)
23.5
(74.3)
22.5
(72.5)
20.0
(68.0)
17.4
(63.3)
21.9
(71.4)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 2.4
(0.09)
18.8
(0.74)
43.5
(1.71)
67.9
(2.67)
208.0
(8.19)
223.0
(8.78)
180.8
(7.12)
260.0
(10.24)
213.9
(8.42)
167.6
(6.60)
37.1
(1.46)
0.8
(0.03)
1,423.8
(56.05)
Average rainy days 0 1 4 6 15 16 17 19 17 12 3 1 111
Source: Thai Meteorological Department[10]

Ayutthaya City Sites

Notable cultural sites

Name Picture Built Sponsor(s) Notes
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon 1357[11] King Ramathibodi I[12] One of the most famous temples in Ayutthaya
Wat Mahathat 1374 King Borommaracha I
Wat Chai Watthanaram 1630 King Prasat Thong One of the most famous temples in Ayutthaya
Wat Phanan Choeng 1324
Wat Phra Si Sanphet 1350 King Ramathibodi I
Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit c. 1637 (restored c. 1742/20th century (multiple times))[13] King Chairacha
King Borommakot[14]
Restored once or twice in the 18th century. Reduced to ruins after the Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767. Restored in the 20th century.[15]
Wat Na Phra Men 1503[16] King Ramathibodi II[17] One of the best preserved temples in Ayutthaya, one of the few buildings to survive the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767.
Wat Ratchaburana 1424 King Borommarachathirat II
Wat Pradu Songtham Under royal patronage from King Songtham until the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767[18] King Uthumphon entered the monkhood at this temple following his abdication in 1758.[19]
Wat Lokaya Sutharam 1452 King Intharacha
Wat Phra Ram 1369 King Ramesuan
Wat Phutthaisawan Before Ayutthaya was founded King Ramathibodi I
Chedi Phukhao Thong c. 1569, 1587 (rebuilt 1744)[20] King (then-Prince) Naresuan
King Borommakot[21]
Built to commemorate a battle victory following Ayutthaya's liberation from Burma in 1584[22]
Wat Thammikarat Before Ayutthaya was founded King of Lavo
Wat Kudi Dao 1711 or earlier[23] King Thai Sa[24] A good example of 18th-century Late Ayutthaya wat architecture. Partially restored.[25]

Museums

  • Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre
  • Chao Sam Phraya National Museum: The museum was specially display the objects excavated at Wat Racha Burana and Wat Maha That.

Other tourism sites

  • Wang Luang
  • Wat Na Phra Men
  • Wat Suwan Dararam
  • Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit
  • St. Joseph's Church
  • Baan Hollanda

The city is located at the junction of the Chao Phraya, Lopburi and Pa Sak rivers, and on the main north–south railway linking Chiang Mai to Bangkok. The old city is on an island formed by a bend of the Chao Phraya on the west and south sides, the Pa Sak on the east side and the Klong Muang canal on the northern side.

The approximate centre of the old city is 14°20′N 100°34′E.

Transport

Ayutthaya railway station

Ayutthaya is accessible by air and rail.

Air

The closest airport is Bangkok's Don Mueang International Airport, a hub for regional budget carriers. An elevated walkway connects Terminal 1 to the Don Muang Train Station, where Ayutthaya-bound trains regularly roll through.[26]

Rail

Trains to Ayutthaya leave Bangkok's Hua Lamphong Station approximately every hour between 04:20 am. and 10:00 pm. The 3rd class fare is 20 baht for the 1.5 hour trip. Train schedules are available from the information booth at Hua Lamphong Station, Bangkok.[27]

In fiction

  • A Thailand-themed town named "Ayothaya" appears in the personal computer MMORPG Ragnarok Online.
  • Ayutthaya is a stage in Soul Calibur II.
  • The temples in Wat Phra Si Sanphet and Wat Ratchaburana from Ayutthaya appear in Street Fighter II, Kickboxer (as "Stone City"), Mortal Kombat, Mortal Kombat Annihilation, and throughout Mortal Kombat Conquest.[28]
  • The lying Buddha statue from the Ayutthaya ruins appears in Sagat's stage in most of the Street Fighter games.[29]
  • It was featured in the 2005 movie "The King Maker".
  • The 1630 destruction of the Japanese quarter of Ayutthaya at the orders of Prasat Thong and its consequences is central to one of the stories in the 1632 series anthology Ring of Fire III, "All God's Children in the Burning East" by Garrett W. Vance.
  • In the 2010 Nintendo DS game Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, the main characters visit the city of 'Ayuthay', which draws heavily on Thai culture and architecture.
  • A Thailand-themed map named "Ayutthaya" appears in the video game Overwatch.

Notes

a The city was founded on Friday, the 6th day of the waxing moon of the 5th month, 1893 Buddhist Era, corresponding to Friday, 4 March 1351 Common Era, according to the calculation of the Fine Arts Department of Thailand.[30]

References

  1. http://www.nationmultimedia.com/2006/09/06/headlines/headlines_30012911.php
  2. "Historic City of Ayutthaya - UNESCO World Heritage Centre". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  3. George Modelski, World Cities: –3000 to 2000, Washington DC: FAROS 2000, 2003. ISBN 978-0-9676230-1-6. See also Evolutionary World Politics Homepage.
  4. "Ayutthaya, Thailand's historic city". The Times Of India. 2008-07-31.
  5. Derick Garnier (2004). Ayutthaya: Venice of the East. River books. ISBN 974-8225-60-7.
  6. "Ayutthaya Historical Park". Asia's World Publishing Limited. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  7. "Historic City of Ayutthaya". UNESCO. Retrieved 2011-09-22.
  8. "Thailand: Major Cities, Towns & Communes - Population Statistics, Maps, Charts, Weather and Web Information".
  9. Bellamy, Patrick. "The Hunt." Hambali: Mastermind of Terror. Crime Library. Retrieved on March 17, 2014.
  10. "30 year Average (1961-1990) - AYUTTHAYA". Thai Meteorological Department. Archived from the original on 2012-05-21. Retrieved 2011-11-12.
  11. Vandenburg, Tricky. "Wat Yai Chaimongkhon". History of Ayutthaya - Temples and Ruins. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  12. Vandenburg, Tricky. "Wat Yai Chaimongkhon". History of Ayutthaya - Temples and Ruins. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  13. Vandenberg, Tricky (July 2009). "Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit". History of Ayutthaya - Temples and Ruins. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  14. Vandenberg, Tricky. "Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit". History of Ayutthaya - Temples and Ruins. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  15. Vandenberg, Tricky. "Wihan Phra Mongkhon Bophit". History of Ayutthaya - Temples and Ruins. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  16. Vandenberg, Tricky (September 2009). "Temples and Ruins - Wat Na Phra Men". History of Ayutthaya. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  17. Vandenberg, Tricky (September 2009). "Temples and Ruins - Wat Na Phra Men". History of Ayutthaya. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  18. May, Ken (September 2009). "Temples and Ruins - Wat Pradu Songtham". History of Ayutthaya. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  19. May, Ken (September 2009). "Temples and Ruins - Wat Pradu Songtham". History of Ayutthaya. Retrieved 22 July 2021.
  20. Vandenberg, Tricky (July 2009). "Wat Phukhao Thong". History of Ayutthaya - Temples and Ruins. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  21. Vandenberg, Tricky (July 2009). "Wat Phukhao Thong". History of Ayutthaya - Temples and Ruins. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  22. Vandenberg, Tricky (July 2009). "Wat Phukhao Thong". History of Ayutthaya - Temples and Ruins. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  23. May, Ken (September 2009). "History of Ayutthaya - Temples And Ruins". Wat Kudi Dao. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  24. May, Ken (September 2009). "History of Ayutthaya - Temples And Ruins". Wat Kudi Dao. Retrieved 21 July 2021.
  25. May, Ken (September 2009). "History of Ayutthaya - Temples And Ruins". Wat Kudi Dao. Retrieved 23 July 2021.
  26. "How to get to Ayutthaya".
  27. "History of Ayutthaya - Temples & Ruins - Introduction".
  28. Mortal Kombat (Laser disc) Audio Commentary, UPC: 014381302165.
  29. "The Buddha Statue". Fightingstreet.com. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
  30. Rotchanaratha, Wina, ed. (1999). Prachum Phongsawadan Chabap Kanchanaphisek Lem Nueng ประชุมพงศาวดาร ฉบับกาญจนาภิเษก เล่ม ๑ [Golden Jubilee Collection of Historical Archives, Volume 1] (in Thai). Bangkok: Fine Arts Department of Thailand. p. 211. ISBN 9744192151.

Further reading

  • Stefan Halikowski Smith, Creolization and Diaspora in the Portuguese Indies: The Social World of Ayutthaya, 1640-1720 (Leiden, Brill, 2011) (European Expansion and Indigenous Response, 8).
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