Article Si Satchanalai Historical Park
Article Date : 30 November 2013
Article Author : Chris Jones

Si Satchanalai Historical Park

It is well worth visiting this historical park which is islocated on the bank of the Yom River at Tambon Muang Kao, Amphur Si Satchanalai. 

The ancient town, formerly called "Muang Chaliang" was named "Si Satchanalai" during the reign of Phra Ruang when a new administrative center was established to replace chaliang. Ruins of 134 monuments have been discovered within the park:

The old city of Si Satchanalai is considered the sister city of historic Sukhothai, and existed contemporary with Sukhothai. Direct family members of the Kings of Sukhothai usually ruled nearby Si Satchanalai. During the reign of King Li Thai (1347-1368) many temples were built and restored at Si Satchanalai.


Wat Chang Lom, Si Satchanalai Historical Park 
There are historic monuments located inside and outside the old city walls. Inside the city walls important temples include : Wat Chang Lom, Wat Chedi Jet Thaew, Wat Nang Phaya.

Wat Chang Lom is located almost at the centre of historic Si Satchanalai. The most important historic building at this temple is the main chedi in Sri Lankan Style. As similar temples at Kamphaeng Phet and Sukhothai, the base of the temple consists of sculptures of elephants. 39 elephants surround the temple. Contrary to what is seen at other temples, the elephants at Wat Chang Lom are standing and very tall. 

Wat Khao Panom Phloeng is a hilltop temple within the old town of Si Satchanalai, overlooking Wat Chang Lom. A laterite chedi in the center, a large viham or image hall in front, and a small sanctuary behind all lie in ruins Some laterite pillars and a damaged Buddha image constructed of laterite slabs and coated with mortar are still to be seen. Many amulets have been discovered at various Kru at this site.

Wat Chedi Jet Thaew is located opposite Wat Chang Lom. It is a large compount which contains 7 rows of chedis. The chedis reflect various art styles, including Sri Lankan, Pagan an Srivijaya styles. Many chedis also have a so called lotus bud on top.


Lotus Bud Chedi at Wat Chedi Jet Thaew, Si Satchanalai Historical Park 
Another important chedi, located within the old city walls, is Wat Nang Phaya, in Sri Lankan style.
Wat Phra Si Ratanamanhathat is located to the southeast of Si Satchanalai. It was founded before the Sukhothai era. The main shrine, an imposing Prang type monument probably dates from the Ayutthaya period, but it was built over another pre-Sukhothai stupa or chedi.

Wat Chao Chan is located closeby. It also contains a Khmer-style prang similar to the later prangs in Lopburi. It was probably built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII (1181-1217).

Si Satchanalai was an important center for ceramic production and many kilns are scattered around the area. The pottery from this era is usually called Sawankhalok (Sangkalok). There is an interesting small museum (with attached excavated kiln) located at Chaliang and operated by the Si Satchanalai Centre for Study and Preservation of Sangkalok Kilns. Another museum is Sawanworanayok Museum, located in present Sawankhalok town.