Wat Yai Chai Mongkol is an ancient Buddhist temple situated to the southeast of Ayutthaya. It was built in 1357 by King Uthong to house returning monks who had gone to study practical Buddhism in Sri Lanka.
In 1592, King Naresuan built the temple’s iconic bell-shaped chedi after a victory over Burma. This towering chedi can be seen from far and wide and features a platform offering wonderful views of the temple site and city beyond. Wat Yai Chai Mongkol was then destroyed by the Burmese in the mid-18th century, and was only rebuilt to its former glory in 1957.
The temple’s beautifully manicured gardens make this one of Ayutthaya’s most scenic and photogenic temple complexes. Perhaps the biggest attraction for most visitors however is the seven-meter reclining Buddha located near its entrance, which lays claim to being one of the largest outdoor reclining Buddha statues in Thailand.
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon sits across the Pridithamrong Bridge to the southeast of the city of Ayutthaya. A visit here can be conveniently combined with a trip to Wat Phanan Choeng.