Ayutthaya(redirected from Ayuthia)
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(official name, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya), a city in Thailand. Administrative center of the province of Ayutthaya. Located at the confluence of the Pa Sak River and one of the branches of the Menam Chao Phraya River on an island intersected by canals. Population, 36,000 (1965).
Ayutthaya is a shipping station on a railroad main line and on water routes. It is a commercial center for the rice-growing region of the Menam Valley. Ayutthaya has rice polishing, distilling, and fish and vegetable canning enterprises. There are artistic handicrafts (colorful fans and niello) and fishing. In Ayutthaya there are annual traditional boat races.
The city was founded in 1350 as the capital of the state of Ayutthaya, which included most of Thailand and part of modern Burma, Malaysia, and Cambodia. During the 16th and 17th centuries Ayutthaya was the most important center for trade between India and the Far East. Trade declined in the 18th century as a result of competition from the Dutch East India Company. The city was destroyed in 1767 by the Burmese and rebuilt in the 19th century.
The city’s 14th- through 18th-century ruins include foundations of palaces and remains of temple compounds with bell-like stupas (phra chedi) crowned with high spires, tower-like sanctuaries (phra prang) richly decorated with carving, and assembly halls. The temple ruins include Wat Phra Ram, Wat Lokayasudha with a stone statue of a sleeping Buddha, and Wat Radjaphurana (1424), with fragments of paintings.