WAT BAMRUNG THAM (วัดบำรุงธรรม)
Wat Bamrung Tham or the "Monastery of Keeping up the Dharma"(1) is an active
monastery located off the city island in the northern area of Ayutthaya in Ban Mai sub-
district, Village (Mu) 4.

In situ is a new monastic complex and an old de-consecrated ordination hall (Th:
ubosot
) in the Early Ayutthaya style (1351 - 1488 AD). The old ubosot has a single elevated
porch with two entries in the east and a back door on the western side. There are three
rectangular windows on the northern and southern sides. The roof is two-tiered, which is
an architecture feature which took root in the Middle Ayutthaya period (1488 - 1629
AD). On the western side of the ubosot stands a two-rabbeted angled chedi. The old
monastic structures are surrounded by  a wall (Th:
Kamphaeng kaeo or crystal wall),
separating the monastic world from the secular world.

The new ubosot was built in the Late Ayutthaya style (1629 - 1767 AD). It is a
remarkable very slender hall with a three-tiered roof. The gable is beautifully decorated
with an image of Vishnu riding Garuda. There are five rectangular windows on
the longest sides. The hall has two porches with two entries and is also surrounded by a
wall. Four columns on each porch support the roof. The structure stands in a northwest-
southeast alignment.

Wat Bamrung Tham was definitely in the Ayutthayan era a small local temple serving the
community in its vicinity. The temple grounds expanded over time. Historical data about
the monastery and its construction are unknown. Apparently the temple was known
before as
Wat Saphan Yao or the "Monastery of the Long Bridge". (2)

The site is not indicated on
Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926, as the
temple is located at the outskirts of Mueang Ayutthaya.

The site is located in Geo Coord: 14° 23' 23.49" N, 100° 31' 17.06" E.

Footnotes:

(1) บำรุง = to maintain, keep up, keep in good condition; ธรรม = Dharma (Buddhist
teachings).
(2) I visited the location of Wat Tha Klong in Ban Bang Pahan on 21 March 2012 after
finding on an old military map a chedi indicated near the confluence of the
Lopburi River
and Khlong Ko Loeng, which existence was confirmed by the old Kamnan of Khayai
sub-district named Man. The old kamnan of Ban Bang Pahan area during our
conversation, told me that Wat Bamrung Tham in Ban Mai was called earlier Wat
Saphan Yao.
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - December 2009
Reviewed July 2012, March 2014
Old ubosot - view from the east
Old ubosot - view from the south
Old ubosot - view from the west
Old ubosot - view within
New ubosot - view from southeast
(Old ubosot - view from the east)
(Old ubosot - view from the south)
(Old ubosot - view within)
(New ubosot - view from southeast)
(Old ubosot - view from the west)