WAT KRASANG (วัดกระสังค์)
Wat Krasang is located off the city island in the eastern part of the city. It can be a bit
difficult to find. The best way to see this active monastery is to turn northward on Rojana
Road at the busy intersection before Grand Street. It is easier to reach by boat.

This temple is situated at the intersection of two canals.
Khlong Hantra (the old  Pa Sak
River) flows in front of this monastery from the north. The second canal moves in an
east/west axis. During the Ayutthaya period, this second canal could be taken all the way
to Nakhon Nayok through various switchbacks. The canal’s name changes according to
where it is situated. It is known at the confluence as Khlong Wat Krasang, but its name
changes to
Khlong Ban Bat as it leads toward the city. Further eastward, it is known as
Khlong Khao Mao, Khlong Khoi Thon, and by other names. This canal is presently
blocked by a water gate next to Wat Krasang, and it can’t be taken any further than the
Asian Highway when the gate is open.

It should also be noted that Wat Krasang once had a small canal running beside it from
north to south. The mouth of this canal began at this monastery, but it has since been
buried. This canal may have marked the outer boundaries of the ancient settlement known
as Ayodhya. Maps suggest that it was a continuation of the old Pa Sak River (Khlong
Hantra) and that it may have curved westward ultimately to the
Chao Phraya River -
passing by important monasteries such as
Wat Yai Chai Mongkhon and Wat Phanan
Choeng. These city walls, which were made from mud and rice husks, were pushed over
to develop additional rice fields, and there is little evidence of them today. More research
is needed on this subject.  

There isn’t much known about this temple’s early history (or if it even existed during
the Ayutthaya period). However, the Ayutthaya Historical Studies Center points out that
there were five toll houses (khanon) located within the boundaries of the ancient city,
and one of these was situated in close vicinity to Wat Krasang. During the reign of King
Songtham (1610-1628), three clauses were added to Royal Criminal Law (36, 37, &
38) that prohibited the smuggling of contraband as well as the evasion of trade tax.
Vessels
traveling along this canal were required to stop and pay tax. Harsh penalties faced those
who violated this law including expensive fines and the confiscation of merchandise
(Chatthip 44). It is plausible that a small temple once existed beside this toll house,
since this countryside route was important for trading activity. Merchants might have
visited such a temple while being stopped by government officials.

Wat Krasang is a fully functioning monastery with Buddhist clergy. Therefore, it has all
the required structures for providing services to the lay community. Every structure in
situ is designed in the style of the Bangkok period. The temple’s ordination hall is its
primary structure, and it is situated at an east/east axis (parallel to the canal beside
it). This building is surrounded by an outer wall and arched gateways. Its gable is
adorned with mirrored-tiles and gold-painted decorations. In front of this ubosot’s
portico is the monastery’s principle chedi. This Bangkok-period structure is constructed
with seven tiers leading to a lotus encircled relic chamber. This is bell shaped with
redentations. Its spire is complete with seven rings and a finial. In addition, there are
several Buddha images around the ordination hall. These are modern construction in
various poses. Based on the modern structures in situ, there is not much evidence that
this monastery existed during the Ayutthaya period.
Text & photographs by Ken May
Updated February 2014
Detail of a 1993 Fine Arts Department map
(Detail of a 1993 Fine Arts Department map -
Courtesy Khun Supot Prommanot, Director of the 3th
Regional Office of Fine Arts)