WAT KHOK PHRAYA
Wat Khok Phraya or "The Monastery of the Mound of the Kings" is a small monastic
ruin build in the Early Ayutthaya period. It is located north outside the city island in Lum
Phli sub-district in the vicinity of
Wat Na Phra Men (Wat Na Phra Meru) and Wat
Hatsadawat.

The ruin consists of a walled vihara with a bell shaped chedi on octagonal base. There
are several chedi rai in situ. A brick platform is situated on the north side. As it was
described in 1629 by Van Vliet as being an old ruin, the temple had to be restored
several times during the centuries.

The location was witness to many punishments and executions of royals of Ayutthaya.
Some locals calls the place haunted. It was here that the young King Thong Lan, son of
King Borommaracha I was executed by Ramesuan, the governor of Lopburi, in 1388.
The method used in Ayutthaya in that time was to tie the victim in a velvet sack, and
dashed in its chest with a club of sandal-wood. By this means the royal body was not
touched.

The
child king Yot Fa, son of King Chairacha was executed in 1548 by Khun
Worawongsa in this location in order that he could usurp the throne.

In 1611 King Si Saowaphak (1610-1611) was killed by Prince Si Sin, the younger
brother of King Songtham and his body was buried at this monastery. Prince Sri Sin,
rightful heir to the throne, on his turn, was killed in early 1629 at Wat Khok Phraya on
order of King Songtham's son Prince Chettha. Van Vliet wrote at that time:

"There he was placed upon a piece of red cloth, whereupon his chest was dashed in
with a piece of sandalwood. They wrapped up the body and the sandalwood club in
the cloth, and the whole was thrown into a well where the body was left to
decompose."

King Chettha shortly after was executed at the same time with his mother Queen Amarit
on order of the Mandarins at this temple in august 1629, eight months after his throne
ascendancy in Dec 1628. In 1633, during the third year of King Prasat Thong's reign,
the usurper king succeeded in killing nearly all scions of King Songtham at Wat Khok
Phraya. Van Vliet wrote:

"Hereupon the three boys (who together were about eighteen years of age) were
apprehended, taken to the same place of execution, and killed in the same manner
as their lawful uncle and their four brothers. The woman was cut in two and her
remains were thrown into the river."

In 1656 it was the theatre for the execution of King Chai by Prince Si Sutham Racha and
Prince Narai and the killing of King Si Sutham Ratcha by Prince Narai. Prince Sarasak
(Luang Sorasak) in 1703 at the end of the reign of King Phetracha, moves against its
future rivals and killed the princes Trat Noi and Khwan, both, sons of King Phetracha
and candidates for the throne. Their bodies were buried at the monastery.

In 1758 three half-brothers of King Uthumphon, who were collecting large bands of
armed followers and appeared to be plotting a rebellion were executed on the spot.

This place finally, has been the killing ground for five
dynasties of Kings starting by the
U-Thong and ending by the Ban Phlu Luang Dynasty, Ayutthaya's last.

References:

(1)The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman & David K. Wyatt (2006)
- The Siam Society.
(2) A History of Siam - W.A.R. Wood. - (1924) - Chalermnit Press.
(3) Van Vliet's Siam - Chris Baker, Dhiravat Na Pombejra, Alfons Van Der Kraan &
David K. Wyatt. - (2005) - Silkworm Books.
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - August 2009
(Ruins of Wat Khok Phraya)
(Satellite chedi in situ)
(View of the site)