THUNG LUM PHLI
Thung Lum Phli (ลุ่มพลี) or "Field of Religious Sacrifice" was the area with as northern border the southern stretch of the loop in the Lopburi River;
on the east a stretch of the Lopburi River until the confluence with
Khlong Sra Bua; on the south Thung Khwan and on the west, Khlong Maha Nak.
Whether or not, the area within the loop of the old Lopburi River, should be included as being part of Lum Phli is not clear.

The name of Lum Phli could have been derived from the fact that the area was used for a royal ceremony known as "Phra Ratcha Phithi Tat Mai
Khom Nam" or the rites of "Cutting the Wood which corresponds with the Enemy’s Name" prior going into battle. ลุ่ม stands for a low-lying area
while พลี can be translated as tribute, worship, oblation or propitiatory offering. We find in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya, Lum Phli mentioned
multiple times as being the area where the above mentioned ceremony was held.

  • On Sunday, the ninth day of the waxing moon in the second month, at four nalika and two bat after daybreak, the King set out with
    his troops in procession by water, [held the rites of] cutting wood and cursing the enemy in the vicinity of Lomphli, and set up his
    victory camp in the vicinity of Müang Wan. [1]

  • In 957, a year of the goat, on Sunday, the third day of the waxing moon in the first month, at three nalika and nine bat after
    daybreak, the King set out with his army in formation for the Municipality of Hongsa. On an earlier occasion, [the rites of] Cutting
    the Wood and Cursing the [Enemy’s] Name [were held] in the vicinity of Lomphli and the Victory Army was assembled in the
    vicinity of Müang Wan. [2]

  • In 961, a year of the boar, on Thursday, the eleventh day of the waxing moon in the eleventh month, at two nalika and eight bat
    after daybreak, the King set out with his army in procession for the Municipality of Tòngu. [The rites of] Cutting the Wood and
    Cursing the [Enemy’s] Name [were held] in the vicinity of Lomphli and the Victory Army was encamped in the vicinity of Tan
    Monastery. [3]

  • On [CDE: Wednesday] [F: Thursday], the second day of the waxing moon of the second month, at two nalika and nine bat of the
    [C: second] [F: first] watch, the two Kings and royal sons set forth from the Royal Metropolis of Ayutthaya by water with their
    troops in procession. After ascending [from the river] to tread the Field of [F: Wrested] Triumph in the vicinity of Lumphli and
    having Phra Phichai Songkhram perform the Rite of Felling the Tree and Cursing the Enemy, they advanced from Lumphli and
    halted their royal barge at Wiset Chaichan. [4]

  • Both Kings, being so informed, said, “We would have gone to celebrate the lunar New Year Festival in Lawæk, but now [BCF: the
    solar New Year Festival] [DE: war] takes precedence! We shall [CDEF: have to] advance forth first to have fun [BCEF:
    celebrating the solar New Year Festival] [D: playing war] with the Mòns.” Then They ordered that [B: an army of] one hundred
    thousand fully armed levies, eight hundred war elephants, and [B: eleven] [CDEF: fifteen] hundred horses be conscripted, had the
    rites of the Forest Entrance, Cutting the Wood, and Cursing the Enemy’s Name [BCEF: celebrated] [D: performed] in the vicinity
    of Lumphli, and established Their Victory Camp at [BCDF: the Phukhao] [E: Khao] Thòng [BCDF: Field]. [5]

Phraya Sombati Parihar gives the following explanation of the rites of Cutting the Wood and Cursing the Enemy’s Name.

Phraratcha, you know, is equivalent to the Burmese Daw, Phithi means ceremony, Tat means to cut, Mai means wood, Khom means to
press down or subdue, and Nam means name. According to ancient principles and methods of warfare, before an army leaves the
capital of a kingdom to meet the enemy's forces, a ceremony has to be performed to ensure success, and this ceremony is what is known
as "Phithi Tat Mai Khom Nam," i.e. "Cutting the wood which corresponds with the name of the enemy."

In the first place a temporary shed has to be erected with six posts having a sort of verandah around it. The shed is surrounded by a
bamboo lattice (Burmese: Rajamdat), having open spaces in the form of a lozenge. Along the lattice are fixed paper umbrellas with three,
five, or seven tiers (c.f. Burmese: Hti). Young banana stems and sugarcane stalks are planted at some distance apart from each other.

Then a person who is an adept in magic squares, Pali letters, and numerical figures, as well as in incantations, collects the earth from
under three bridges, three ferry landing places, and three graveyards. The earth thus collected is moistened and made into the likeness of
the enemy. The name of the enemy is written on a piece of paper, the adept then writes over the name his magic squares which will have a
destructive effect on the enemy. This paper is then inserted in the chest of the earthen figure which must be dressed in the customary dress
of the enemy.

Young banana stems, and the stem of a tree the name of which corresponds with the name of the enemy, are brought and kept in the shed
on three successive days, and every night on those days incantations are pronounced or intoned over them. After this the earthen figure is
inserted into the banana stem which is then tied round in three places with consecrated cotton thread. A pit is dug, and the banana stem
and the stem of the tree which corresponds with the name of the enemy are planted together in this pit.

Having prepared thus, about 3 p.m., court Brahmans (Burmese: punna) enter the shed, put down a jar of water used for consecration or
incantation, and wind cotton threads used for the same purpose round the combined banana and tree stems. The Brahmans then invoke
celestial beings such as Shiva, Krishna, Ganesha and so on, to come from their celestial abodes to be adored and to lend their help in the
ceremony. Then when the auspicious moment is near, the king deputes some officials, usually the commanders of the expeditionary force,
to perform the ceremony in his stead.

The king hands over to his deputies His Majesty's finger-ring set with nine gems, and royal swords. His Majesty's deputies proceed to the
shed and at the auspicious moment draw the royal swords from their scabbards, take three slow, deliberate steps forward, and cut the
stems of the banana tree and the tree corresponding with the name of the enemy three times. In so doing, they should take care that the
swords cut the earthen figure and the name of the enemy. They then stamp three times on the fallen part of the banana stem and the tree
corresponding with the name of the enemy.

As soon as they have done as described, they should turn round and return to the palace without looking back at all. They then return the
ring and swords to the king's attendants, enter into the king's presence, and inform him saying, "May it please Your Majesty in going to
subdue the enemy, we have been entirely successful as desired by Your Majesty." Thus ends the ceremony.
[6]

Lum Phli Field was used as a concentration area for troops in case of war but figured often also as a battle field. In this area, Siamese defensive
troops as foreign attacking armies, set up their stockades as derived from the Royal Chronicles.

  • Then, crossing the plain, he entered [BCEF: at the back of] Mok Forest, traversed it with his men, and went on to establish his
    main stockade in the Municipality of Lumphli. [7]

  • Then the King sent Phraya Cakri out to establish a stockade in [B : the Municipality of] Lumphli with fifteen thousand soldiers, all
    of whom were clad in red tunics and red hats. [8]

  • On the following day the King of Hongsawadi mounted Kam Kuam, a chief male elephant seven sòk high and painted red, and
    brought his men to the Lumphli Plain. [9]

  • The army of the Phraya of Bassein and the army of the Phraya of Sariang, the vanguard of the main army, set up their stockade at
    Lumphli [BDEF: Township]. [10]

  • On Friday, the first day of the waxing moon in the month, the King of Hongsa arrived at Ayutthaya and encamped in Lumphli
    Township, and when the Hongsa troops had surrounded Ayutthaya, King Maha Cakkraphat became ill and passed away. [11]

  • The King of Hongsawadi reached the Capital City of Ayutthaya with his army on [BCDEF: Wednesday] [G: Monday], the
    [BCDFG: first] [E: fourth] day of the waxing moon of the first month, and entrenched his troops in the Vicinage of Lumphli. [12]

  • On Wednesday, the seventh day of the waxing moon in the fifth month, at four nalika and one bat after daybreak, the
    King marched his troops in formation to establish camp in Lumphli Township. [13]

  • On Sunday, the seventh day of the waxing moon of the fifth month, at [CDE: four] [F: five] nalika and one bat after dawn, King
    Naresuan and his younger brother advanced and encamped their victory [CDE: army] in the vicinity of Lumphli.  [14]

  • On Wednesday, the first day of the waxing moon of the fifth month, at four nalika and two bat after daybreak, the Kings set out
    from the Royal Metropolis by water and encamped their victory army in Lumphli. [15]

  • Then both Kings disembarked, proceeding on foot in their golden jeweled slippers, and sent all of their troops up to mock [the
    enemy] below Sai Phlai Thòng Village, at the mouth of the Chian Village and Ri Village Canal, and at the Lumphli Canal above
    Krasòp Village. [16]

  • On Tuesday, the tenth day of the waning moon in the fourth month, the King went out to set up his troops in an ambush on the
    Lomphli plain and they issued forth to attack the enemy army. [17]

  • Then he ordered [BDEF: that] soldiers of expert ability [BDEF: be selected] from every army and brigade until there were ten
    thousand, that they be taken to reinforce the stockade of Lak Wai Thammu and [BCDF: Thahan] [E: Han] Thot in the vicinity of
    Lumphli, and that, if King Naresuan sallied forth to attack the stockade, they were to capture him [BDEF: alive] without
    fail. [18]

Following were the temples in alphabetical order, located in this area: Wat Bua (mound), Wat Dokmai (vanished), Wat Jong Krom (restored ruin),
Wat Phraya Maen (restored ruin), Wat Prasat (ruin), Wat Si Liam (restored ruin), Wat Tha Khlong (active monastery) and Wat Tum (active
monastery).

References:

[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 123 / Source: Luang Prasoet - Hongsawadi Sends An Army to Siam.
[2] Ibid - page 155 - Resumed Warfare With Hongsawadi, 1594-1596.
[3] Ibid - page 168 - Ayutthaya Army Marches Against Toungoo.
[4] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 98-9 / Source: British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph. - The Main Ayutthaya Army Heads North.
[5] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 141 / Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend
Phonnarat, Phra Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - War With Hongsawadi Resumes.
[6] Our Wars with the Burmese - Prince Damrong Rajanubhab (re-edited 2001) - White Lotus, Bangkok - Notes page 363/364 (Integrally with
exception of the Burmese translations of some words).
[7] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 28 / Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat,
Phra Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - War With Burma, Early 1549.
[8] Ibid - page 32 - War With Hongsawadi, 1563-1564.
[9] Ibid - page 34 - Further Battles.
[10] Ibid - page 46-7 -  The Hongsawadi Army Invests Ayutthaya.
[11] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 59 / Source: Luang Prasoet - The Death of King Chakkraphat.
[12] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 60 / Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend
Phonnarat, Phra Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - The Hongsawadi Armies Besiege Ayutthaya.
[13] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 102 / Source: Luang Prasoet - The Attack of Hongsawadi, 1585.
[14] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 105 / Source: British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - The Army of Ayutthaya Moves North.
[15] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 105 / Source: Phan Canthanumat - The Army of Ayutthaya Moves
North.
[16] Ibid - page 106 - The Army of Ayutthaya Moves North.
[17] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 114 / Source: Luang Prasoet - Further Conflict, 1586 and 1587.
[18] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 120 / Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend
Phonnarat, Phra Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - Skirmishes Outside Ayutthaya.
Text by Tricky Vandenberg - September 2012