Wat Jakrawan (Chakrawan) also called Wat Chao Mon is a restored ruin located off
the city island in the eastern area of Ayutthaya in Hantra sub-district. The former
monastery is situated on the west bank of
Khlong Ayodhya, a canal which had its mouth
on the old
Pa Sak River (present Khlong Hantra) and ran into Khlong Kudi Dao near the
temple of the same name. The temple can be reached by taking the northern road at
Chedi Sam Plum, a landmark when entering Ayutthaya from the south. Wat Kudi Dao lie
opposite of it, while to the north stands
Wat Ayodhya. On its west side is Wat Pradu

The monastery derives its name from the "
Traiphum", the three-world system. The
ancient Theravada tradition saw a flat world with Heaven above and Hell below, which
changed at a later stage in a ten-thousand world vision. According to the Traiphum, the
universe has been for ever occupied by an infinite number of Chakrawans (groups of
worlds) all exactly similar, and each embracing a world of men, with a series of heavens
and hells. Each of these worlds (solar systems) depends on a central mountain named
Phra Meru. Around Mount Meru are eight circular belts of ocean, divided from each
other by seven annular mountains (Satta Boriphan). Outside of all is an eighth rim of
mountains, called the "Crystal Walls of the World" or "
Mount Chakrawan", the crystal
annular mountain which encircles the system. [1]

The area was probably already populated during the Dvaravati era (6th to the 11th
centuries). There is evidence that a community settled in this area much earlier than 1351,
date of establishment of the city of Ayutthaya. Sources mention that around 850 AD the
Khmers occupied the area and established a stronghold here, naming it Ayodhya after
the ancient and one of the holiest Hindu cities of India, the old capital of Awadh, in the
Faizabad district of Uttar Pradesh.

In situ we find an ordination hall (Th:
ubosot) and its principal chedi. The ubosot
measured 30 m in length by 16 m in width and faced east. Only its restored foundations
remain visible. The structure had two entries in the front and two in the back. On its west
side stands the principal chedi. The chedi is bell-shaped and is positioned on a square
base. The harmika is octagonal oriented to the four cardinal and four inter-cardinal
directions and surmounted by the traditional spire or multi-tiered umbrella. The whole
complex is surrounded by an outer wall or crystal wall (Th:
Kamphaeng Kaeo)
measuring 55 m by 35 m and by a moat.

Following excavations conducted by the Fine arts Department the monastery has been
restored three times and probably dates from the Early Ayutthaya period (1351 - 1491).

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown. The site is situated
in Geo Coord: 14° 21' 52.63" N, 100° 35' 22.62" E.


[1] The Wheel of The Law - Alabaster Henry (1871) - page 10/257.
The principal chedi from the east
The principal chedi and ubosot from the east
View from the south
(View from the south)
(The principal chedi from the east)
(The principal chedi and ubosot from the east)
Photographs, maps & text by Tricky Vandenberg
Updated May 2015
WAT JAKRAWAN (วัดจักรวรรดิ์ )
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)