WAT KUTI THONG
This active temple is located on the northern side of Khlong Mueang (part of the old
Lopburi River). It is split into two parts by a road that runs through the center of the
monastery. The monks live in the buildings closest to the water. The rest of the
monastery, including its ancient ruins, can be seen on the opposite side of the road.

Wat Kuti Thong is framed by many ancient walls and an arched entrance gateway.
These can still be seen directly next to the road, but they are also visible completely
around the monastery’s boundaries. Some of the walls are quite high in places. The main
sermon hall sits on top of a large mound, which may have been the remains of an older
building. The sermon hall now serves as an active ubosot. Two gold-painted Buddha
images sit in Taming Mara poses on the main altar. A number of smaller images of
various monks can be seen outside by the ubosot’s main entrance. This sermon hall is a
modern construction in the Ratanakosin style. A large number of burial memorial sit east
of the sermon hall. This includes small chedi that appear to be from the ancient city (holes
burrowed into them by looters).

Also in situ are two large chedi on the northern side of the sermon hall. These are usually
covered in heavy vegetation, so they are difficult to access. They sit on top of a huge
mound, so some layers may still be concealed underground. Both chedi are bell-shaped,
which suggests that they were constructed in the Middle Ayutthaya period. One of the
chedi is still in good condition. It still has much of its stucco and most of its spire intact.
There are at least 25 rings around the spire, though the final has since collapsed. The
square-like harmika is still in good shape. The second chedi has suffered greater
damage. It has collapse from the upper relic chamber. There are some rings visible at the
base. Both bell-shaped chedi are filled with many holes from looting.

Wat Kuti Thong was aligned toward a north/south axis. This was due to its location
beside Khlong Mueang, which probably served as its entrance point. In addition, this
monastery was situated east of
Khlong Pla Mo (now partially buried). There is evidence
that this temple may have been surrounded by a moat.

Wat Kuti Thong is mentioned in relation to a war with Lawaek (Cambodia) in 1570.
Khmer troops advanced to the Siamese capital and set up an elephant stockade at
Wat
Sam Vihan. They then spread out at intervals along the Lopburi River (Khlong Mueang).
These enemy troops were stationed at
Wat Rong Khong Monastery and Kuti Thong
monastery. In addition, thirty elephants and 4-5 thousand Khmer troops were halted at
Wat Phra Meru (Cushman 77). Luckily, Siamese troops were able to force their
opponents to retreat. They fired cannons directly at Khmer soldiers barricaded behind
the walls of Wat Sam Viharn. The Lawaek commander, Phra Campathirat, was killed
while still perched on the neck of his elephant. The invading army then departed the city
in defeat.
Text & photographs by Ken May - August 2009
Addendum

In the manuscript "Testimony of the king from Wat Pradu Songtham", a document likely
compiled in the Early Ratanakosin Period, is written that there was a land market beside
the Howdah Workshop Village (Ban Rong Kup) in front of Wat Kuti Thong. (1)[1][2][3]

The site is situated in Geo Coord: 14° 21' 44.91" N, 100° 33' 41.93" E.

Footnote:

(1) A howdah is a transport platform, fitted with a railing and sometimes a canopy, which
is positioned on the back of an elephant. The platform was used in the past to carry
people and goods or to be used in hunting and warfare. The elephant carriage was also a
symbol of wealth and as a result often decorated with precious metals and gems.

References:

[1] Geographical description of Ayutthaya: Documents from the palace - Dr Winai
Pongsripian - Bangkok (2007).
[2] Note on the Testimonies and the Description of Ayutthaya - Chris Baker - Journal of
the Siam Society, Vol. 99, 2011 - page 77 (paragraph on KWPS).
[3] Markets and Production in the City of Ayutthaya before 1767: Translation and
Analysis of Part of the Description of Ayutthaya - Chris Baker - Journal of the Siam
Society, Vol. 99, 2011- page 52-3.
Addendum by Tricky Vandenberg - November 2013