Sukhothai : Wat Mahathat 2 - Jim Wageman

Following Ramkhamhaeng’s death in 1298, the power that Sukhothai had enjoyed declined rapidly. By 1320 the kingdom had become a minor state; by 1378 its status was further reduced to that of a vassal to Ayutthaya. Its splendor might have been largely forgotten had it not been for Rama I, who In founding the Chakri dynasty in 1792 sought to bolster his own royal pretensions by importing hundreds of images from Sukhothai for the temples and other projects he was building in Bangkok, many modeled after Sukhothai prototypes. Nonetheless, by 1977 Sukhothai’s monuments were all but lost to encroaching jungle, when a 16-year effort was begun to restore them. Today, Sukhothai is a UNESCO historical site.