The city wall is located in the center of the historical
park in Tambon Muang Kao and surrounded by earthen
ramparts. The north and the south walls are each 2,000
meters long, where as the east and the west walls are
each 1,600 meters long. The walls contain four main
gates: Sanluang on the north, Namo on the south,
Kamphaenghak on the east, and Oar on the west. A stone
inscription mentions that King Ramkhamhaeng set up a
bell at one of the gates. If his subjects needed help,
they would ring the bell and the King would come out to
settle disputes and dispense justice.
Inside the town
stands 35 monuments including Buddhist temples and many other structures.
The royal palace lies in the center of the town and covers an area of
160,000 square meters. This area is surrounded by a moat and contains two
main compounds; the royal building and the sanctuary in the palace. In the
royal compound exists the ruins of the royal building called Noen Phrasat.
Here, the famous stone
inscription of King Ramkhamhaeng was found by King Mongkut
(Rama IV) in the 19th century together with a piece of the
stone throne called "Manangkhasila Asana" King Ramhamhaeng
set up the throne in the midst of a sugar palm grove where,
at his request, a monk preached on Buddhist Sabbath days and
the King conducted the affairs of state on other days This
throne was later installed in Bangkok's Temple of the
A sanctuary lying to the west behind the Royal Palace compound is Wat
Mahathat. It is Sukhothai's largest temple with a customary main Chedi in
lotus-bud shape and a ruined viharn. At the base of the Chedi stands
Buddhist disciples in adoration, and on the pedestal are seated Buddha
images. In front of this reliquary is a large viham formerly containing a
remarkable seated bronze Buddha image of the Sukhothai style, which was cast
and installed by King Lithai of Sukhothai in 1362. At the end of the 18th
century, the image was removed to the Viham Luang of Wat Suthat in Bangkok
by the order of King Rama I and has since been named Phra Si Sakaya Muni. In
front of the large viharn is another smaller viham which was probably built
during the Ayutthaya period. Its main Buddha image (8 meters high) was
installed inside a separate building. In front of the southern image, a
piece of sculpture called, "Khom Dam Din" (a Khmer who come by way of
walking underground) was found, and is now kept in the Mae Ya Shrine near
the Sukhothai City Hall. On the South stands a pedestal of a large Chedi
built up in steps, the lowest platform is adorned with beautiful stucco
figures of demons, elephants and lions with angles riding on their backs.
Mural painting adorn this Chedi.
Situated among magnificent scenery southwest of Wat Mahathat
is Wat Si-Sawai. Three prangs are surrounded by a laterite
Inside the wall, the viham in the west, built of laterite, is separate from
the main prang which was constructed in the Lop Buri or Hindu-style, but the
other also constructed beside the prangs are Buddhist vihams. The Crown
Prince of that time who later become King Rama VI found a trace of the Hindu
sculpture Sayomphu, the greatest Hindu God in this sanctuary, In his
opinion, this ruin was once a Hindu shrine, but was later converted into a
Situated to the west of Wat Mahathat is Wat
Traphang-Ngoen with its square pedestal, main sanctuary,
and stucco standing Buddha image in four niches. There
is a viharn in front, and in the east of the pond, there
is an island with an ubosot. This edifice has already
crumbled and only its pedestal and laterite columns
still remain. Many monuments and magnificent scenery are
visible from this location.
Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is Wat
Chana-Songkhram. It was once called Wat Ratchaburana.
Its main sanctuary is a round Singhalese-style chedi. In
front of the chedi exists the base of a viharn and
behind the former stands an ubosot. Bases of twelve
small chedis are also visible. Near Charot Withi Thong
Road is a strange chedi having three bases, one on top
of the other.
Situated near Wat Chanasongkhram is Wat Sa-Si. Around a
Singhalese-style chedi is the main sanctuary on an
island in the middle of Traphang Trakuan Pond. A large
viharn contains a stucco Buddha image. To the south
stands nine chedis of different sizes.
Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is
San-Ta-Pha-Daeng. This monument consists of only one
laterite prang with a staircase in the front. Sandstone
Hindu divine object (Lop Bun-style) were discovered
Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is the King
Ramkhamhaeng Monument. The bronze statue of King
Ramkhamhaeng sits on a throne named
Phra-Thaen-Manangkhasila-Asana with a base relief
recording his life.
Situated to the north of Wat Mahathat is Wat Mai. Wat
Mai, having a brick viham as the main sanctuary, is in
Ayutthaya style. The columns of the viharn are made of
laterite. A bronze image of the Buddha under a Naga,
(Lop Bun-style) was found here and is now preserved in
the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum.
The Ramkhamhaeng National Museum was built in I960 and
opened on 25 January, 1964. The museum collection
includes gifts from the ex-abbot of Wat Ratchathani and
art objects unearthed in Sukhothai and nearby provinces.
It is open daily from 09.00-l6.00
hrs. Admission fee 30 Baht. Tel. (055) 612167
Situated to the east of Wat Mahathat is Wat
Traphang-Thong. The monastery is located on an island in
the middle of a large pond. A ruined laterite
Singhalese-style chedi is on the island. In front of it,
a new mondop contains the Lord Buddha's Footprint slab
that was created by King Lithaiin 1390 on Samanakutor
Phra Bat Yai Hill. This footprint was removed to the new
mondop some years ago. An annual fair to worship this
sacred Lord Buddha's Footprint takes place at the same
time as the Loi Krathong Festival.