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Wat Yai Chai Mongkon (วัดใหญ่ชัยมงคล)

Thai. ‘Great Temple of the Auspicious Victory’. Name of a temple in Ayutthaya, which was presumably built in the reign of King U-Thong, not so long after the founding of the capital in 1351, and was initially named Wat Pah Kaew, but was also known as Wat Chao Phraya Thai and Wat Phraya Thai, as it was built to hold the ashes of Chao Kaew and Chao Thai, who both had died of cholera. Its name was changed in 1593 after King Naresuan in 1592 had a bell-shaped chedi (fig.) built by royal command, in order to commemorate his victory over the viceroy of Burma, whom he had defeated in a duel fought on the backs of war elephants in Nong Sarai, near Suphanburi. The scene of this battle is depicted in a mural (fig.) of the temple's ubosot and is reminiscent of a similar mural in the wihaan of Wat Suwandararam, which is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 1992 (fig.). The chedi is enclosed within a boundary wall that on the inside has a gallery with rows of Buddha images, all seated in the bhumisparsa pose. Another attraction is the the temple's ruined vihaan, which houses a large reclining Buddha image (fig.), which is positioned with the head to the South and the face to the East. Like the vihaan, the original was destroyed and the one seen today is a reconstruction. See POSTAGE STAMP.