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Wat Suwandararam (วัดสุวรรณดาราราม)

Thai-Pali. ‘Golden Star Monastery’ or ‘Golden Star Temple’. Name of a first class royal Buddhist temple located on the city island of Ayutthaya. It was built towards the end of the Ayutthaya Period by Thong Di (ทองดี), the father of Thong Duang, and initially named Wat Thong. The temple was completely destructed during the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, yet in 1785, Thong Duang had it restored when he reigned as King Rama I, the first monarch of the Rattanakosin Period. The temple is still active today and is best known for it's exquisite murals in both the bot and wihaan, which illustrate significant historical events, including the Great Duel of 1593 on the back of war elephants, known in Thai as chang seuk and yutthahadtie, fought between King Naresuan the Great and Minchit Sra the Burmese Crown Prince. This legendary mural was painted in the reign of King Rama VII by the court official Maha Sawektri Phraya Anusaht Chitrakon (มหาเสวกตรี พระยาอนุศาสน์จิตรกร), who was also known as Chan Chitrakon (จันทร์ จิตรกร) and who was the grandfather of the late Samak Sundaravej (สมัคร สุนทรเวช), who briefly served as Prime Minister from 28 January to 9 September 2008. The scene of this particular mural is depicted on a Thai postage stamp issued in 1992 (fig.), to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Great Duel, and is similar to a mural (fig.) in the ubosot of Wat Yai Chai Mongkon,(fig.) also in Ayutthaya. Also spelled Wat Suwannadaraam.