Wat Pho Phueak or the “Monastery of the White Bodhi Tree” is an active monastery
the east bank of the Chao Phraya River or - free translated - the River of Kings.

In situ is a rather new monastic complex with different structures. The ordination hall (Th:
ubosot) is the oldest structure on the premises, built in the Late Ayutthaya style (1629 -
1767). The hall stands in the classical east-west alignment and has a two-tiered roof. The
ubosot has two porches with two entries each and is surrounded by a wall. Two columns
on each porch support the roof. There are four rectangular windows on the northern and
southern sides.

On the premises are different modern monastic structures. There is a commemoration
hall attributed to King Taksin and a kind of mandapa (Th: mondop) surrounded by four
wooden poles coming from the Elephant Kraal (locally called Sao Talung) to worship

A large Buddha image in meditation posture faces north along the bank of the river.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown. In the Royal
chronicles of Ayutthaya we read that during the White Elephant War in 1563 during the
reign of King Chakkraphat (r. 1548-1569), the King of Hongsawadi (Burma) Bayin
Naung set up his main army at Wat Pho Phueak Township on the Pak Khu (mouth of
the ditch) tax station rice fields as part of an encirclement of Ayutthaya. [1] [2] The
temple could as thus already be in existence at that time.   

The site is not indicated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926, as the
temple has been likely reconstructed in the Ratanakosin period (post 1782 AD).


[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 47 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph.
[2] The Chronicle of Our Wars with the Burmese - Prince Damrong Rajanubhab (1917)
- edition White Lotus 2001 - page 38.
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - December 2009
(Ubosot - view from the south side)
(Large Buddha statue along Chao Phraya River)
(King Taksin Memorial Shrine)
(Ganesha shrine)