WAT PA DAENG (วัดป่าแดง)
Wat Pa Daeng is a temple ruin located off the city island in the northern area of
Ayutthaya in Khlong Sra Bua sub-district.

The monastery was situated in between
Khlong Pha Lai and Khlong Ban Pla Mo in area
called before
Thung Kaeo. Wat Khwit stood adjacent in the north, Wat Nom Duan
in the east and
Wat Kuti Thong in the south. Wat Pa Daeng was surrounded by water;
the two canals in the east and west and connecting canals in the north and the south,
separating Wat Khwit and Wat Kuti Thong.

There are traces of laterite in situ, which makes it plausible, that this monastic structure
could date from the Early Ayutthaya period (1351 - 1488). Written sources of the Fine
Arts Department confirm that the temples in
Khlong Sra Bua area - to which Wat Pa
Daeng belongs - are from the Early Ayutthaya period, but of course continuously
renovated until the Late Ayutthaya period (1629 - 1767).

The meaning of "Pa Daeng" literally translated as "Deciduous Forest" is more or less a
guess. The word Pa (ป่า) can be translated as forest but can have also the meaning of a
locality, a quarter or market area.

We find in Ayutthaya areas called "Green Cloth Quarter" (Pa Pha Khiao - ป่าผ้าเขียว)
and "Pink Cloth Quarter" (Pa Pha Chomphu - ป่าผ้าชมพู)  [1] hence Pa Daeng could
be "Red Cloth Quarter" and as thus the name of the temple: the "Monastery of the Red
Cloth Quarter"; especially as it is situated near Khlong Pha Lai or the "Canal of the
Patterned Cloth".

Wat Pa Daeng could also be established by a lineage of monks, which reached
Chiangmai during the reign of King Sam Fang Kaen (r. 1401 - 1441) of Lan Na Thai
(Million Rice Fields). This lineage at that time was led by the monk Medhamkara (or
Nanagambhira - sources vary) and accompanied by two Sri Lankan monks. They
resided at Wat Pa Daeng in Chiang Mai. By the time of King Tilokaracha (r. 1442 -
1487) the Pa Daeng monks were appointed to key positions and received substantial
support for monastic centers including Wat Pa Daeng, which became the lineage's center
for ordination rituals. There were indications of strong royal support for the Pa Daeng
lineage, retaining the highest ranking monastic appointments of the period. [2]

Buddhism was introduced to Chiang Tung from Chiang Mai in northern Thailand. The
Chronicle of Wat Padaeng (Saimong Mangrai 1981) describes in detail the trip a Tai
monk (Nanagambhira) who went to (Sri) Lanka in the purpose of establishing a new
Buddhist order. After his re-consecration in Lanka, he went to Ayutthaya, Sukhothai,
Chiang Mai and finally to Chiang Tung and established the Wat Padaeng monastery,
which is still standing. [3]

The two sources above indicate that Pa Daeng monks came to Ayutthaya, although it is
not confirmed as yet that Wat Pa Daeng, north of Ayutthaya, had been established
by this sect.

On some maps the denomination seems to be written as Wat Pa Taeng (วัดป่าแตง),
which in this case must refers to a melon market in the vicinity of the temple. On
the FAD 2005 map this is clearly the case.

Its historical background and exact period of construction are unknown.

The ruin is indicated on
Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 and on 1974,
1993 and 2005 Fine Arts Department (FAD) maps. The ruin is situated in Geo Coord:
+14° 21' 53.07" N, +100° 33' 40.84" E.

References:

[1] พรรณนาภูมิสถาน พระนครศรีอยุธยา เอกสารจากหอหลวง
(ฉบับความสมบูรณ์) - Geographical description of Ayutthaya: Documents from the
palace - Dr Vinai Pongsripian - Bangkok (2007).
[2] Buddhist Learning and Textual Practice in Eighteenth-Century Lankan Monastic
Culture - Princeton University Press - Anne M. Blackburn (2001)]
[3] Tai Khun Buddhism and Ethnic-Religious Identity - Klemens Karlsson.
Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - Aug 2009
Reviewed October 2011
(Remaining chedi at Wat Pa Daeng)
(Brickwork of Wat Pa Daeng)
(Buddha statue on a brick mound)
(Extract of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted
in 1926)
(Extract of a 1974 Fine Arts Department map -
Courtesy Dr. Surat Lertlum, Chulachomklao Royal
Military Academy)
(Extract of a 1993 Fine Arts Department map -
Courtesy Khun Supot Prommanot, Director of the 3th
Regional Office of Fine Arts)
Site view of Pa Daeng. Pictures were taken on 11 January 2012. This site is in a very
deteriorated state and needs urgent restoration.
(Photographs by Tricky Vandenberg)
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 on
Patterned-Cloth Canal beside Wat Pa Daeng behind Wang Phak Jao Lao
(Accommodation Palace for the Lord of the Lao) [1][2][3]

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.
Addendum by Tricky Vandenberg - November 2013