Phitsanulok

Phitsanulok

Geography

Pitsanulok is located in the southern part of northern Thailand. The neighboring cities are Pichit, Kampaeng Phetch, Sukhothai, Uttaradit, Loey and Phetchabuhn. To the west of Pitsanulok, a plain extends along the Yom and Nan rivers. In the east, hills and mountains rise to the border with the provinces of Loey and Phetchabuhn. Pitsanulok lies on the two banks of the Nan River. The old town is on the right bank of the river, while the shops and banks are concentrated on the left bank.

History

Pitsanulok was originally called “Muang Song Kwae” because it is located between two rivers, Nan and Yom. The city was probably built during the Khmer rule, a little earlier than the Sukhothai period. During the Sukhothai period, Muang Song Kwae was believed to have been part of the Sukhothai Empire as the city was mentioned on the stone inscription.

The king Li Thai stayed for 7 years, between 1362-1368, in Muang Song kwae and had 3 important Buddha statues built:

  1. Phra Puttha Chinnarat
  2. Phra Puttha Chinasri
  3. Phra Sasada

Muang Song Kwae again gained importance when it became the seat of Crown Prince Phra Ramesuan, son of King Borom Racha II. After the Crown Prince climbed the Tron of Ayutthaya in 1448, he only stayed in Ayutthaya for a few years. From 1463 until his death in 1448 he stayed in Muang Song Kwae, whose name was later changed to Pitsanulok.

Pitsanulok was the birthplace of the famous King Naresuan the Great, who was born here in 1555. A shrine was placed next to his birthplace in the old Palace in 1961.

Attractions in Pitsanulok
Wat Phra Sri Maha That

Located near the Naresuan Bridge on the east bank of the Nan River is very famous. The temple was built around 1357 during the reign of King Li Thai of Sukhothai. The center of this temple is the great Prang, which is surrounded by four Vihan.

  • The West Vihan. In the West Vihan is the important Buddha statue Phra Puttha Chinarat
  • The North Vihan. In this building another famous Buddha statue Phra Puttha Chinasri was erected, which is currently in Wat Bovonnivet in Bangkok
  • The East Vihan. This Vihan contains Phra Attarot, a stucco Buddha statue 9 meters high.
  • The South Vihan. Inside was a Buddha statue called Phra Sasada, which was later brought to Bangkok. Phra Sasada is currently being replaced by other new Buddha statues.
Phra Puttha Chinarat

In West Vihan is a bronze statue in the late Sukhothai style and depicts the Buddha when he overpowered the Mara.

The curved flame at the back is made of carved wood with fictional figures at the end and at shoulder height.