Indulging the past through the ‘Gate of Time’ at Wat Phra Ngam, Ayutthaya
Ayutthaya is not well-known only its old town district that best-known as the top site to visit among the tourists. Today is proud to present at new l tourist landmark which is so-called ‘the Unseen Destination’ that anyone should not miss.
Peacefully situated on the north territory outside the town of Ayutthaya, the Buddhist temple with the title “Wat Phra Ngam” (means the beautiful Buddha image) is another must-go old temple in Ayutthaya to check-in. Not only the name of the temple, the beauty of this holy site reflected through the beautiful architecture of the structured octagon pagoda, the superior construction of the temple. Specifically, the arched entrance made from bricks called “the Gate of Time” cuddled entirely with the giant Bodhi Tree is the real highlight of the location. The beautiful and exotic appearance of this notable arch, unsurprisingly, it becomes the trendy photogenic spot for the tourist to visit and shoot the pictures, and of course another must-visit place for the trip to Ayutthaya, at the moment.
Wat Phra Ngam at the Glance
Wat Phra Ngam located at Klong Sa Bua sub-district of Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya district. Though the location is just the abandoned monastery outside the city town, the place cannot conceal its noteworthiness with the ancient arch cuddled with the Bodhi Tree as a highlight of the site. The arch was known in general ‘the Gate of Time.’ The glow last light of the day shines through the arch which we can imagine that it just like we step from the present to the past days (just think about the Hollywood film’s Stargate).
Background of the Temple
Wat Phra Ngam or known in another name “Wat Cha Ram” located outside of the town to the north. Lack of pieces of evidence to show the time to establish this Buddhist monastery. However, the temple was mentioned in the poem of “Niras Nakhonsawan” (the Journey to Nakhonsawan) that assumed it written in the period of King Narai. On the other side, according to the archeological study summarized that Wat Phra Ngam constructed since the beginning of Ayutthaya and was abandoned upon the second lost of Ayutthaya to Burma in 1767.
The monastery compound faced to the east, and the octagon pagoda set as the primary structure of the complex, the façade or the east side of the main pagoda is the ubosot environed with the defensive wall and the moat around the holy site. Within the compound found the proof that the temple had passed multiple times of the restoration.
The most attractive of the temple is the arched entrance covered with the large Bodhi Tree which dated back for more than a century. The mystical structure as if gazing through the frame is the old stupa right within the arch. The ideal time to snap the best shot of the arched entrance is the time before sunset when you will experience the perfect dusk. The golden sunlight shines through the Gate of Time would be an extraordinary moment for the journey that worthwhile for you to try. However, it always a gift for the early person, the aurora in the early morning is not less in the great scene to witness the perfect view of the dawn at the Gate of Time, as well. Differently, the sunlight shines through the gate to the space inside the ordination hall and reaches the octagon pagoda. The temple is beautiful and welcomes for the visitors all year round but the most fascinating period to spot the light through the Gate of Time is late of the rainy season and the beginning of the winter between September – November. That time is not only the remarkable shot of the sunlight; also the misty atmosphere rolled by around the space, just like heaven, isn’t it?
The Pagoda of Wat Phra Ngam
Walking through the entrance is the spacious ground at the front of the monastery complex, the walkway leads the people to the octagon pagoda, the central construction of the site with the defensive wall and the canal lies around the area of the holy place, in accordant with the traditional landscaping of the temple since the old days. The tourist is welcomed to pay homage and make the merit inside the monastery for good and to help the maintenance of the temple. Or for anyone who fancies some period scene of the past while you are visiting here, dressing up with the traditional Thai style costume or vintage is also a good idea to get the nice picture with the fabulous background of the Gate of Time.
Travel to Wat Phra Ngam
The journey to Wat Phra Ngam, by car, be noted that when you set the location on the Google map, please set it as “Wat Phra Ngam Klong Sa Bua.” Do not set just “Wat Phra Ngam” since there are numerous of Wat Phra Ngam in Ayutthaya that might mislead you to the wrong destination.
For the journey to Wat Phra Ngam is not too tricky, the tourist should drive by using the route to go to Wat Na Phra Meru. Then, you drive along the road rounded Wat Na Phra Meru with checking the sign to Wat Si Pho. So, you continue on the way to the gangway of Wat Si Pho, and there will be a small sign to guide you to the Gate of Time. And you make the left turn at the entrance of the temple and drive following the guided signs.
Alternatively, for the tourist who travels by the public transport, once you arrived at the Ayutthaya town, then it’s optional for you to get on whether tricycle or pick-up truck service to the destination.