June in Thailand: Si Satchanalai’s Chaliang Complex

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Tom and I first went to Si Satchanalai, an immense park filled with ruins. It was just under an hours’ bus ride away from Sukhothai proper and had far fewer tourists than in Sukhothai. The bus dropped us at the Chaliang side, quite a distance away from the main complex. At first we wondered if we’d got the right place as there was only a small row of tourist stands lining a dirt track. Taking faith in the handwritten signs, we hopped across a little suspension bridge…

00300

… and soon found ourselves facing the majestic Chaliang compound, complete with imposing tower.

00301

The ancients who occupied this city must have been incredibly short, because we had to bend almost double to pass under the entrance beam. That, or they deliberately built it low so that people had to bow every time they entered the area.

00338

A massive Buddha image sat at the foot of the tower. Weathered as it was with most of the gold leaf sheared off by the elements, it still retained much of its former grandeur.

00328

Its long curved fingers still rested elegantly on its knee after all these years.

00330

Thankfully, the structure was still sturdy enough for visitors to climb to the shrine within the tower. From afar, it looked like a fairly innocuous and easy climb up.

00303

You’ll have second thoughts when you reach the base of the stairs though. It’s surprisingly steep and practically impossible if not for the modern railings at the side. I wonder how the ancients managed.

00331

On the other side of the Chaliang complex were some beautifully carved towers. The sheer intricacy of the work was very impressive.

00325

Despite all the erosion, lots of detail still remained and I had to zoom in quite a bit with the camera to capture some of the fine craftsmanship.

00334

Elsewhere in the complex were Buddha images in different poses, here one rather graceful and dancer-like.

00329

Here two in deep meditation. I thought it rather interesting that the two Buddha faces were of different styles. I wonder if they were erected in different periods.

00335

And yet another one. This one rather oddly enclosed in thick walls.

00336

It was a lovely start to Si Satchanalai, complete with good weather, and we headed along the pathway to the main complex.

00337

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s