|WAT JAO FA DOK DUA (วัดเจ้าฟ้าดอกเดื่อ)
|Wat Jao Fa Dok Dua or the Monastery of Prince Fig Flower was located outside
the city island in the eastern area at Phai Ling Sub-district. It stood adjacent and west of
Wat Chaofa Rasami.
The monastery was situated on the south bank of Khlong Ban Bat, which had its mouth
at the (new) Pa Sak River. It stood more or less in line with Wat Phichai Songkram and
Wat Photharam. The monastic area seemed to be surrounded by a moat, which had a
junction with Khlong Ban Bat.
There is also another temple location, a bit to the North but in the same sub-district
having nearly the same name - Wat Jao Dok Dua.
Apparently there were no visible traces remaining of this monastery at ground level.
There are a few small commemoration viharas in situ, as a last witness of the past. Two
small chapels are located next to Bodhi trees or Ficus Religiosa. At the moment of our
last visit, which occurred in September 2009, locals were busy cutting down the main
branches of one of the giant Bodhi trees. Following some locals, the area had quite a lot
of “Tamnak”, which means probably there were a lot of brick buildings in situ. There
were also walls (kamphaeng) and a pond. Today, nothing remains from these
constructions as the area is largely urbanized.
The historical background of the former monastery and its period of construction are
unknown. Inhabitants of the area dedicate the former monastery to King Uthumphon
Prince Uthumphon, although being the youngest son of King Borommakot (r. 1733-
1758) and minor Queen Phiphit Montri, was appointed Uparat (or Crown prince) by his
father. As William Wood writes: being a clever and studious man, very religious by
nature, and greatly beloved by the people. In Siamese history he is known by the
nickname of King Dok Madua (Figflower). 
Prince Uthumphon succeeded to the throne on the death of his father, but as his position
on the throne was insecure and his administration constantly interfered by his elder
brother Suriyamarin (r. 1758-1767), he decided to abdicate in favor of his brother. He
retired to Wat Pradu, a monastery been built by him. Ex-King Uthumphon (r. 1758),
was recalled from his temple in 1760 in order to take care of the defenses of Ayutthaya.
When the Burmese withdrew to Ava, Uthumphon returned to the shelter of his
monastery. In 1767, on the fall of Ayutthaya, Ex-King Uthumphon was taken out of his
temple and led away to Burma, where he died in captivity in 1796 (different dates are
given, depending the sources).
The exact reason why this former monastery bears the name of Jao Fa Dok Dua or
Prince Fig Flower could not be revealed. Due to its denomination the locals likely link it
to King Uthumphon, but historically no traces could be found. They spoke also about
'Pho Sua' or 'Father Tiger' - a name indicated on one of the smaller shrines in the area.
Whether or not there is a link to King Sua (reign 1703-1709) could not be confirmed.
The names Jao Fa Dok Dua and Pho Sua are probably connected to one and the same
person, but this person still remains a mystery.
The monastery is only mentioned on a Fine Arts Department map drafted in 1993 and is
situated in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 17.98" N, 100° 35' 11.66" E.
 A History of Siam - W.A.R. Wood (1924) - Chalermnit Press.
|Text, map & photograph by Tricky Vandenberg - September 2009
Reviewed April 2012
|(Detail of a 1993 Fine Arts Department map -
Courtesy Khun Supot Prommanot, Director of the 3th
Regional Office of Fine Arts)
|(Bodhi tree and shrine in situ)
In "Tamnan Krung Kao" we read that along Khlong Ban Bat, behind Wat Phichai and close to Wat Photharam the brick foundations of a royal
pavilion had been found. Phraya Boran Rachathanin (PBR) was of the opinion that the area was the palace of Jao Fa Rasami Sri Suriyawong
Phong Kasatri, who probably renovated Wat Phet and renamed the monastery Wat Photharam as she was living near by. It was here that
ex-King Uthumphon (r. 1758) found refuge after the Burmese attack of Ayutthaya in 1760.
In the old document is mentioned that ex-King Uthumphon - also known as Khun Luang Hawat - left the monkhood to defend Ayutthaya against
the attack of the Burmese in 1759-60. He got two nobles arrested and severely punished after they had affairs with some court ladies. One
nobleman - Phraya Racha Montri (Pin) - died after three days of the wounds inflicted by the flogging; the other nobleman - Jamun Sri Sorarak -
was still alive when ex-King Uthumphon returned to Wat Pradu. King Ekhathat (the last King of Ayutthaya and older brother of Uthumphon) got
the punishment of Jamun Sri Sorarak reduced and the latter was later even promoted. King Uthumphon became suspicious, left his monastery and
sought refuge in the Palace of Princess Rasami, a daughter of King Borommakot (r. 1733-1758).
The location here was thus noted down by Phraya Boran Rachathanin as the Palace of Jao Fa Rasami, but the locals referred to the place as the
Palace of Jao Fa Dok Madua (nickname of ex-King Uthumphon).
The Palace of Jao Fa Rasami is although not found on PBR's map drafted in 1926. The reason is not known. PBR only indicated Wat Photharam.
 Phraya Boran Rachathanin - Tamnan Krung Kao (1907) - pages 82-3.