KHLONG CHANG MAHA CHAI
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - November 2013
Khlong Chang Maha Chai or the Maha Chai Granary Canal is a defunct waterway
once situated on Ayutthaya's city island in Pratu Chai sub-district.

The east-west running canal had its mouth at the old
Lopburi River (at present the in
1857 deviated  Chao Phraya River)  in front of
Wat Thamma and linked up with Khlong
Tho. The canal passed the fortified city wall at the Chang Maha Chai Gate, a large
water gate in between
Wat Suan Luang and Wat Sop Sawan. The canal has been filled
up somewhere after the fall of Ayutthaya (1767) and no traces of the waterway are left
today.

Starting from its mouth, on the south bank stood Wat Suan Luang,
Wat Jom Thong aka
Wat Ket, the Granary of Great Victory and Wat (Racha) Monthian; on the north bank
stood  Wat Sop Sawan,
Wat Noi and Wat Khok Chang aka Wat Rat.

In the manuscript "Testimony of the king from Wat Pradu Songtham", a document likely
compiled in the Early Ratanakosin Period, is written that in the Ayutthayan era there was
a  fresh market called
Head Granary Market in front of Wat Ket beside the Granary
of Great Victory. [1][2][3]

On Kaempfer's map we find a road north and south of the canal, which are connected by
three bridges. One brick bridge beside the Thang Hua Phai Canal (2) was called
Saphan
Kaeo
or Crystal Bridge. [1]

Footnotes:

(1) ฉาง  = barn, granary or storehouse.
(2) The exact location of this canal could not be determined.

References:

[1] Geographical description of Ayutthaya: Documents from the palace - Dr Winai
Pongsripian - Bangkok (2007).
[2] Note on the Testimonies and the Description of Ayutthaya - Chris Baker - Journal of
the Siam Society, Vol. 99, 2011 - page 77 (paragraph on KWPS).
[3] Markets and Production in the City of Ayutthaya before 1767: Translation and
Analysis of Part of the Description of Ayutthaya - Chris Baker - Journal of the Siam
Society, Vol. 99, 2011- page 52-3.
(Extract of Kaempfer's map - Anno 1727)
(Extract of Bellin's map - Anno 1750)
(Extract of a c. 1850 map))
(Extract of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
1926)