The temple (under a different name) was likely
constructed by King Borom Rachathirat I around 1374. Its current name was given
during the reign of King Ramesuan (r. 1388-1395).
Today, the central prang (tower) of the temple is
a ruined mass of bricks. It first collapsed during the reign of King Song Tham
(r. 1610-1628) and was repaired during the reign of the following ruler, King
Prasat Thong (r. 1629-1656). The reconstruction raised the prang to 44 meters
and thence to 50 meters when a 6 meter metal spire was added.
The temple weathered arson attacks during the
Burmese invasion of 1767. As late as the early 20th century the prang was in
fairly good condition, but it collapsed suddenly during the reign of King Rama
VI. Repairs have not been attempted.
is no clear historical evidence of this Lord Buddha's head, but It is assumed
that when Ayutthaya was defeated by Burmese army in B.E. 2310, the Mahathat
temple was set on fire and entirely destroyed and as its result most of the
images and parts fell to the ground. The temple was deserted for more that a
hundred yearand many trees had grown at the spot covering the head or In B.E.
2500 when the Department of Fine Art undertook restoration might have gathered
all the remains but could not complete. Secound assumption is a thief might
have tried to steal but due its weight could not carry it across the wall or
someone had come to the scene and the thief left it there until the tree
covered it as we see at present.