Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand
Unlikely Art: Nature Turns History into ArtLong before Bangkok became the capital of Thailand, when Thailand was known as Siam, the ancient city of Ayuthaya sat as the powerful ruling empire. But as the world reshaped itself, Ayuthaya would fall to Burma and the capital of Siam would change several times.
There are many legends surrounding how this Buddha head got stuck in the roots of the tree. Many believers attribute spiritual forces and other non-human involvement; but the most likely scenario is that when Burma sacked Ayuthaya and began stealing pieces of the temples, this head was dropped because it was too heavy to carry out. For centuries, Ayuthaya sat in ruins, untouched while the jungle grew up around it. It is hypothesized that this tree grew up and around the head.
This tree is now so sacred, it is surrounded by a metal chain and has a guard sitting next to it at all times.
Whether it was natural forces or something more magical, the power of this unlikely piece of art will definitively leave its effect on you.
The best way to see the ruins of Ayuthaya is by bicycle. You can peddle from one site to the next and rent an audio guide which will tell you the story of each site along the way. It was one of my favorite stops in Thailand. I would definitely add it to your list of places to see!