Photo. Siamese State Railways.
The Three Prachedis, Ayudhya.
Kinga s site. They are ruins rapidly growing more ruinous. Near them is the Phra Mongkol Bor Pit, a building or what was a building now exposing to the sky rather than housing a colossal bronze Buddha whose interior is built up in bricks. The statue, gutted by thieves in search of treasure, holed, mutilated of the right arm, sits on a high brick platform and its piled and tired hair is topped by the lotus crown. The piety of to-day has knotted a long streamer of coarse and far-faded yellow cloth across the body and over the left shoulder, but has not availed to weld together the large plates of bronze where they have started apart to expose the bricks within. A few spots of gilding show that some still worship there in a faith that no dilapidation can repel.
Just behind the wooden pavilion, near the War Sukri landing, is a square of bricks, representing the water supply of this part of old Ayudhya, and between it and the pavilion goes a path which
leads to a moated ruin entered by a wooden bridge. Tradition says that beyond this again lie, lost in the tangle of shrubs, the palaces of the fair Queens and the delicate daughters of the last King, King Sucharit. He, in 1765, fled alone from his palace and died somewhere outside Ayudhya, whilst the victorious Burmese were capturing the Queens and Princesses and sending them to Ava.
This is all that the traveller may see of the palaces of the thirty-four Kings of Ayudhya, for to this has been humbled the pride of four centuries. Beyond this and all around are many wats and many prachedis and many phraprangs, but of pratinangs there are said to be no more. Yet nothing is certainly known of what really exists in the enceinte formed by the river and the klong, for no archaeological survey has been made, and the whole is deep in jungle scrub.
The prachedi, the phraprang and the pratinang a pomp, piety and power once in plenty and now in plaintive piecesa Ayudhya.
But that is the temporal quarter of Ayudhya. The spiritual parts are in a far better state, notably Wat Put Thai Suwan on the far bank of the river. Its phraprang is in excellent preservation. In the inner court is a gallery of one hundred and eight Buddhas. This is thought to be one of the early wats of Ayudhya, dating from shortly after 1350, and most interesting are the plates and saucers of porcelain cemented into the plaster of the forty-four metre phraprang. In a recess with a wooden door, which the monk in charge opens, is a brightly gilt and very perfect statue of King Phra Chao U Thong in his habit, as he lived, and above him an equally bright and perfect statue of the Queen Mother in her habit as she reclined. From the top of the phraprang depends an iron ladder in the shape of a succession of bars and rings like a snaffle bit. Outside the bot is a reclining Buddha, ten metres long, in plaster, whose features are curiously primitive and lack the usual curves. In a separate building, near the wooden landing from the river for this wat, are curious and very ruined frescoes of the life