Phra Ajana in the Mandapa at Wat Si Chum, Sukhothai.
Wat Si Chum is located in the so-called northern part of the monuments at Sukhothai Historical Park, close to Wat Phra Phai Luang. It is about 2 kilometes by bicycle from the 'center' of the park.
The temple and its tall Buddha Image are among the most photographed monuments in Sukhothai. The main structure at Wat Si Chum is the Mandapa (square temple building) with a large sitting Buddha Image with the posture of Subduing Mara inside. The Buddha Image is known as Phra Ajana
The architecture of the mandapa is intriguing. When approaching when can slowly discern the Buddha Image through the narrow entrance.
Phra Ajana is 15.63 metres high and more than 11 metres wide across the knees.
When entering the mandapa you will see a narrow stairway on the left (closed to visitors), which leads to the top of the mandapa. On the ceiling of this stairway there used to be slate slabs decorated with Jataka tales (previous lives of the Buddha). They are not anymore in place and some are kept (not for the public) at the Ramkhamhaeng National Museum in Sukhothai. The same museum displays quite a few replicas of the decorations.
If you visit Wat Si Chum, you definitively have to come in the morning. Otherwise the glare of the sun above the Buddha Image will prevent you from taking nice pictures.
We provide no video or large pictures of Wat Si Chum, because we did not follow our own advice. The pictures here are from an earlier visit to the site.
Hand of Phra Ajana at Wat Si Chum, Sukhothai.