Monday, March 23, 2015

Sukhothai National Historic Park

The Kingdom of Sukhothai flourished between the 14th and 16th centuries and extended across the Moei, Lower Yom, Ping, Nan and Upper Pa Sak River Valleys. Sukhothai, Thailand's ancient capital city and the region's second most-important town Si Satchanalai are situated about an hour's drive apart from each other. For over two hundred years these ancient cities were the economic and cultural centers of the country and so they are now rich in historical remains. The site was designated as a World Heritage site in 1991.

The Sukhothai period is renowned for its stylization of the Buddha's features, which are portrayed as slightly feminine with a fuller, rounder face and a flame situated above the head. The fullness of the face was probably introduced to reflect the prosperity of the Kingdom at that time.  There are many awe-inspiring Buddha images hidden throughout every corner of the park.

Along with the ruins of the ancient royal palaces there is a monument to King Ramkhamhaeng, who reigned during the pinnacle of the Sukhothai period. King Ramkhamhaeng is known as the father of the Siamese language (Thai), and the monument's stone inscriptions detail the development of the Thai alphabet.

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