Looking at the big city from afar
Leaving Bangkok, about 80 kilometers north, the hustle and bustle of Bangkok seemed to be still in my ears. In the vague dream like wine, I saw the mysterious and long-awaited Ayutthaya. In my mind, Louis XIV’s envoy suddenly sounded the description of Ayutthaya: “Although the temple is the only abrupt carving in the seamless heaven and earth, I have never seen anything more beautiful than this.”
This is the old capital of the Ayutthaya dynasty before the Bangkok dynasty, which now rules Thailand, and has a history of more than 600 years. However, we have another name for “Ayutthaya”-Dacheng. Today’s big city is almost a city made up of ruins. The broken walls and scattered rubble hidden in the green hills and waters slowly brought me back to that distant era.
In the ruins of the big city, there are records of more than 600 years of history, more than 600 years of war and more than 600 years of civilization, as well as the tragic years when the ancient capital of Thailand was captured by the Burmese army more than 600 years ago when people left their homes and were displaced from place to place. What remains, in addition to the ruins, is the cinerary tower, as if the people of that year built this magnificent city just to have a place to store ashes in the future.
Looking at the big city from afar, my eyes are full of contiguous brown and black. The brown one is the pagoda and the black one is the Buddha. In those days, the magnificent ancient palace had long disappeared, leaving only a few half-brown and half-black columns still standing there tenaciously. Time is speechless, the big city is speechless. Only the pagodas looted by the war are telling people, and only the incomplete Buddha statues are remembering the glorious history.
The Great City was built in 1351 and became the second capital of Siam after Sukhothai in the middle of the 15th century. At that time, the big city of Buddha Pagoda was like a forest and the palace was resplendent and magnificent. It was one of the richest cities in Asia and once enjoyed the reputation of paradise on earth. At that time, the big city had many rivers, many bridges and developed shipping, and once became a trade center in Asia. Businessmen come here to trade not only from China, Java, Malaysia, India, Sri Lanka, Iran, Japan, but also many Europeans.
Slowly walked into the big city and wandered among the ruins. The incomplete beauty left over from the ancient city seems to make people live in Angkor on the Khmer land. An abandoned pagoda, pigeons made nests on it and circled back and forth. Also, several lazy dogs are taking a nap. In the big city ruins garden in the center of the city, the weeds are luxuriant and the white flowers are in full bloom, which is very desolate. The collapsed palace tells of suffering. The broken wall remains constant, revealing the vicissitudes of life. To this, I only have a sigh.
I was shocked by the corroded, stained and incomplete pagoda. What shocked me even more was a mutilated Buddha. It is said that when the Burmese army captured the big city in 1767, it brutally cut off his head. However, after many years of spring, summer, autumn, winter and severe cold and heat, the Buddha statue has not fallen down or weathered, and has remained tenaciously.
I saw a Buddha’s head wrapped by a tree root, which was still lifelike whether it was stormy or thunderous. The broken Buddha head was wrapped around the fibrous roots of the ancient tree, as if tightly embraced by the tree. The Buddha’s face smiled slightly and his expression was restrained and mysterious. Faced with such a situation, I think whether it is a natural coincidence or a mysterious Buddhist fate, it is difficult not to sigh at the miracle created by time, but also to be awed by nature.
I saw a huge bergamot lying quietly on the ground. I also saw some things with very beautiful curves that people could not understand at the moment as what’s things. I think, maybe it is some part of the Buddha. These remnants of the bombed Buddha statues and the wonders of the ruins have now been listed by the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization and assessed as a first-class historic reserve.
There is a 16-meter-high Buddha in the temple of Pushishanpei in the big city. It is said that the surface was once covered with 250 kilograms of gold foil. At that time, all the pagodas in the big city were inlaid with gold foil. It took too much time to pry them down one by one. The Burmese army simply burned the city with fire. The pagodas were skewed, the Buddha statues were incomplete, and the gold foil melted and fell automatically. Of course, the Temple of Pu Ris Shanpei and the Buddha will not escape the destruction.
Pu Ris Shanpei Temple was the largest and most important temple at that time and was once used as a royal temple. There are also three remaining Sifo Pagodas built in the 15th century, which contain the ashes of three kings respectively. Their carving lines and architectural techniques are the highest representatives of the art of the big city.
The second only to the Shanpei Temple in Pu Ris is the Mahatai Temple. The main pagoda with Khmer style was built in the early days of the imperial dynasty to worship Buddha relics. Unfortunately, after the ravages of war, the foundation of the pagoda, the stucco brick walls, and the Buddha statues without their heads all made the viewers sigh. The shocking head of the Buddha entangled by tree roots is in a corner of the temple.
Rajiabrana Temple was established in 1424 and has been handed down to this day. It has quite high historical value. In 1957, it became famous because a large number of gold jewelry and precious cultural relics were found in the basement there. In addition to a pagoda, there is a temple, Nian Xing Gallery, etc. Among them, the arch-shaped temple crypt is the oldest in Thailand at present.
Palan Temple was built in 1369 by the son of the founder of the great city and destroyed in the 15th century. The main building body of Palan Temple is a commensurate round tower located on a terraced platform. Up to now, the tower still has stucco decorations for walking and standing Buddha, while the connected cloisters include snakes, golden-winged birds and Buddha statues. It can be imagined how glittering and resplendent the dome pagoda was in those days.
Bronze Buddhist Temple, which contains Thailand’s largest bronze Buddha statue. The 17-meter-high sitting Buddha moved here in 1603. The temple was also destroyed during the Burmese army invasion and is now rebuilt by Rama V. Bronze Buddha is not only a unique Buddhist artwork, but also makes the temple where the Giant Buddha is placed full of infinite energy.
Napramen Temple is located to the north of the moat, facing the palace. It is one of the few temples in the big city that have not been ravaged by war. There are Thai buildings with a very long history in the temple, especially the Buddha statues, which are different from other temples, are all dressed in magnificent royal costumes, and another Buddha statue is carved out of black wood.
Chavatanalan Temple is far away from the central scenic spot and was ordered to be built by the Thai king in the 16th century in memory of his mother. The tallest pagoda in the center and the pagoda at the four corners of the temple are all Khmer-style, just like the small Angkor Wat. Legend has it that the king built them to commemorate the defeat of the Khmer army.
Before coming to the big city from Bangkok, you will see a tall pagoda from a distance, which is the location of Yacha Mengkong Temple. Yacha Mengkong Temple was built in 1357. It was built by the creator of the Great City Dynasty. Its architecture is exquisite and its temple is magnificent. It can be said to be the oldest building in the Great City.
Panan Qiongan Temple is located in the south of the Great City and existed before the Great City was built. The main Buddha statue in the temple was built in 1325 and was poured with cement. The huge 19-meter-high Buddha statue shows the Buddha’s conquest of demons and is deeply admired by local residents. There is also a Sanbao Palace nearby, which was built by later generations in memory of Zheng He.
In 1956, the Buddha statues in the Temple of Shanpei in Pu Ris were finally restored, and other relics were restored one after another. However, in addition to the renovation of key historical sites, most of them still maintain the original appearance of the ruins of that year. The ruins of the big city still maintain the grand momentum of an ancient dynasty and the poignant beauty of a historical tragedy.
The setting sun is setting, the brown brick ruins are like a red picture, and the towering ancient three towers are like burning torches straight into the sky, reminiscent of the wreaking havoc of the invaders. In this way, the devastated big city will remain in the world, and may remain in this way forever. Just like our Yuanmingyuan in China, perhaps the broken limb is the helpless destination?
Dacheng, like Yuanmingyuan, is a long-sounding alarm bell, keeping the accusation of war all the time. Not far from the ruins of the palace is an open ruins grassland, in which lies a 28-meter-long reclining Buddha. Her palace may have been destroyed in the catastrophe of that year. I don’t know that there have been what Palace and what Hall in such a wide open space? In the face of the Buddha statue, I can only pray with both hands and devoutly-I pray for peace, pray for eternal peace!
In the mist of the sunset, a pigeon stands leisurely on the pagoda. In the big city, time seems to have stagnated at the moment when the Khmer set fire to it. Countless ruins and walls are silent, countless broken bricks and tiles are silent, countless weeds and towers are silent, countless old trees and dead branches are silent, and only a few stray dogs flash out occasionally. Yes, now we can only trace the past from the ruins of these historic sites and travel through time and space to imagine the prosperity of that year. . .
(Some sources are Baidu)