In 1424 AD King Intharachathirat passed away. His two sons, Chao Aye Phraya who reigned over Suphanburi, and Chao Yi Phraya who reigned over Sanburi, met in battle as each desired the throne. This took place at the approach to the Pa-Than bridge and ended with the death of both sons. A third son, Chao-Sam Phraya came down from Phitsanulok and acceded to the throne whereupon he declared his intention to organize a funeral for his father and his two brothers. Afterwards he ordered the building of a wat, namely Wat Ratchaburana, at the site of the cremation and at the place where his brothers fought and died he had two chedis created in which to keep their ashes.
In september of 1957 A.D. looters dug into a two-level crypt inside the main prang (Khmer-type tower) and stole a great quantity of valuable material. Police arrested some of these looters. The Fine Arts Department proceeded to excavate the site and found Buddha images and many artifacts made of gold. Among these were a large number of votive tablets made of gold and lead.
In 1958 A.D. the Fine Arts Department built a stairway so that one could go down into the crypt and look at the mural paintings which were also found there. Since the Buddha images and votive tablets discovere in the crypt were very numerous, the ministers of the government approved giving some of them to people who had contributed to the building of the Chao Sam Phraya National Museum, much of the collection in which was found at Wat Ratchabutrana.
This temple stands out for having a large prang recently restored to its original condition, clearly visible if you come in from the east.
The vault of Wat Ratchaburana is a rich source of information. It became known to the public when looters broke into the vault in 1957. It was a matter of days before the police caught the looters and were able to confiscate some treasures.
Staff of the Thai Fine Arts Department conducted a further excavation and discovered that there were the vault had three stories. Confiscated artifacts amounted to 2,000 items. Among them were more than 100,000 votive tablets and more than 100 kilograms of gold jewelry.
You can climb down inside the prang for nice views and a little exhibit. The mysterious staircase down, leads to two unrestored rooms with original paintings still visible on the walls.
Admission fee: 30 baht