The Gateway of Wat Pho Prathap Chang (39)



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In 1661 A.D., King Narai the Great got a successful attack on Chiang Mai, capital of Lanna Kingdom. When he returned to Ayuthaya, he left the daughter of the king of Chiang Mai, who was his wife and pregnant at that time. While he went to pay homage to both the Chinarat and the Chinasi Buddha images at Phitsanulok, he decided to bring the princess back with him. No sooner had the princess reached Pho Prathap Chang District that she gave birth to a son who was later named Dua. Learning about the baby, King Narai felt ashamed and claimed the boy and princess to be the son and wife of 
Phra Phetharacha instead. However, people still recognized the boy as the son of King Narai The boy grew up and entered the King's service and eventually became Luang Sorasak .Close to the end of the reign of King Narai, Luang Sorasak together with Phra Phetharacha dethroned King Narai. In this reign, Phra Phetharacha made himself king of Ayutthaya while Luang Sorasak became Wang Na Prince (akin to the present-day title of Crown Prince). It was not until the year 1703 A.D. that the Crown Prince was crowned Sanphet VII who was widely known as Somdet Phra Chao Sua. After that the King established 
Wat Pho Prathap Chang at the place of his birth. Wat Pho Prathap Chang was an example of art and architecture of the late Ayutthaya period. Like other ubosot (ordination hall) of the late Ayutthaya era, 
the ubosot at Wat Pho Prathap Chang has a lot of windows placed side by side. The design on the door and window frames resemble those at Wat Kudi Dao and Wat Barom Buddha Ram. Sema or the boundary markers found at the monastery belong to the same style as those found after the reign of King

Narai. They share close similarities in both form and size which suggested they belong to the late Ayutthaya school. Hence, the archaeological finds found at the temple are very useful for understanding art history of the late Ayutthaya school.Although the gateway of Wat Pho Prathap Chang is much larger than those of Wat Ratchaburana and other temples in Ayutthaya, which were renovated in the late Ayutthaya period the designs are quite similar.