วันจันทร์ที่ 7 มกราคม พ.ศ. 2551



Wat Phra Si Mahathat commonly called Wat Yai by the people, is on the east bank of the Nan River in town limit. The Wihan of the temple houses what is regarded as the most beautiful and graceful Buddha statue in Thailand, the large bronze sitting statue of Phra Phutthachinarat in the Sukhothai style. The statue attracts hundreds of foreign and Thai visitors daily who come to admire and pay their respect. An annual celebration in honor of Phra Phutthachinarat is held in late January.

Other prominent features of the temple include the large pearl-inlaid doors of the Wihan made in circa 1756 by royal craftsmen of the late Ayutthaya Period. Another is Phra Attharot an 8-metre-tall, standing statue cast in the same period and Phra Phutthachinarat (circa 1257). Originally housed in a large Wihan, today it stands in the open air as the covering building has all crumbled away with only a few large columns standing.

In addition, there is the principal Phra Prang of the early Ayutthaya style. It is believed that the structure was originally a lotus bud-shape Chedi, a style called Phum Khao Bin regarded as genuine Sukhothai. It was later altered into a Prang (pagoda) during the Ayutthaya period.

On the east bank on the Nan River and south of Wat Phra Si Mahathat is Wat Ratburana. The Ubosot features graceful three-headed Naga (mythical serpent) over its eaves. It was built by King Borom Trailokanat, Who resided for twenty five years in Phitsanulok and played a major role in fostering Buddhism in the province.

Another interesting temple is Wat Nang Phaya with its extensive collection of the highly coveted Nang Phaya votive tablets. Then there is Wat Aranyik, a Sukhothai-era temple which is surrounded by moats. Wat Chedi Yod Thong on Phaya Sua Road is another interesting site which has a lotus bud-shape Chedi of typical Sukhothai style, the only such structure left in the province.

Wat Chula Mani on the east bank of the Nan, is about 5 kilometres from town on the Borom Trailokanat Road. The oldest temple in town, it was once the site of the original town. King Borom Trailokanat, accompanied by more than 2,000 followers was ordained as a monk here in 1416.

An important ancient structure in the temple is the Mondop containing a Holy Footprint and inscription stone built by King Naria the Great of Ayutthaya. There is also a Khmer-style Prang (pagoda) built with laterite and adorned with intricate design of a swan.

The King Naresuan the Great Shrine is located at the site which was once the Chan Palace, the birthplace of Naresuan the Great. Within the shrine is a statue of the king in the posture of declaring independence from Burma. The entire site of the palace has been restored and renovated as a major historical area.

The 700-year-old Giant Tamarind Tree is located at Tambon Ban Kok outside of town. To reach it, take the road to Nakhon Sawan and turn left at the foot of the bridge across the Nan River proceeding for a further 700 metres.

The Folklore Museum on Wisutkrasat Road in town has some of the largest collections of indigenous arts and household utensils. These include pottery, ancient kitchenware and agricultural tools and other native products, all reflecting the lifestyle and creativity of the community. The founder of the museum, S. Maj. Tawee Buranakhet, has been designated a leader in the area of sculpture and indigenous art preservation. He also operates a foundry sepecialising in casting Buddha images and statues, which is situated opposite the museum and attracts many visitors.

The City Walls of Phitsanulok were originally made of clay similar to those of Sukhothai and built during the Ayutthaya period to deter raids from Lanna and Burma. Today, its remnants can be seen to the north and east of town. The original City Moats measuring 12 meters wide are still in existence to the west of town parallel to Phra Ruang Road.

House-boats on Nan River are a landmark of the province. On both banks of the river which runs from north to south past the town are lined with hundreds of such floating rafts, a scene representing the serene ambience of the community.