Wat Photharam or the "Monastery of the Bodhi Tree" was located off Ayutthaya's city
island in the eastern area in Phai Ling sub-district, east of the
Pa Sak River today

There are no visible  traces of this monastery remaining at ground level. Its period of
construction is unknown.

This monastery is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya  as being the site
where the King of Prae and the left wing of the army of Hongsawadi, set up its stockade
during the investment of Ayutthaya in 1549. The Mon  armies were set up in a circle
around the capital. In only one day they finished making a network of bridges of bamboo
slats sewn with rattan across all the  rivers, streams and canals so that the troops and
horses could walk anywhere. [1]

Wat Photharam stood probably in the vicinity of a royal pavilion (tamnak), which was
located along
Khlong Ban Bat. At the final days of Ayutthaya the pavilion was habited
by Princess Rasami Sri Suriyawong Phong Kasatri, a daughter of King Borommakot.
During excavations on the site a shattered stone tablet was found. The damaged
engravings recounted that this monastery was called before
Wat Phet and became
ruined. The monastery was renovated and its name changed into wat Photharam by
Princess Rasami. It is therefore deducted that this monastery should have been situated
in the vicinity of the lodging of the princess. The lodgings of Princess Rasami became
also a safe haven for ex-King Uthumphon (r. 1758) after the Burmese attack in 1760. [2]


[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 47 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph.
[2] Phraya Boran Rachathanin - Tamnan Krung Kao (1907) - pages 82-3.
(Former location of Wat Photharam)
Text & photograph by Tricky Vandenberg - November 2009
Update April 2013