WAT PHROM NIWAT (วัดพรหมนิวาล)
Wat Phrom Niwat or the Monastery of the Abode of Brahma is an active monastery
located off the city island in the northern area of Ayutthaya in Tha Wasukri Sub-
district. It is situated on the north bank of
Khlong Mueang, the old Lopburi River in
earlier times.
Wat Phanom Yong and Wat Sala Pun lie in its vicinity.

The temple was initially known as
Wat Khun Yuan, making reference to a military Khun
Yuan Yonok who ordered its construction in 1564 (926 C/S). (1) The temple has been
reconstructed in the post Ayutthaya era and restored a number of times the last century.

The ordination hall and chedi (Th: ubosot) stand in a  north-south alignment, facing
the old Lopburi River and are surrounded by a inner wall (Th: Kamphaeng kaeo). The
ubosot in Late Ayutthaya style (1629 - 1767) (the base built in junk-shaped style) has a
two-tiered roof without porches. There are two entries on the south-side and one
entry at the north side. The hall has four rectangular windows on the longest sides.
Behind the hall stands a twenty-rabbeted-angled chedi surrounded by a low inner wall.
Left and right from the chedi are small roofed structures.

The site is indicated on a
mid-19th century map with the presence of a chedi and
denominated Wat Khun Yuan (วัดขุนญวน). The temple is also mapped by
Phraya
Boran Rachathanin on his 1926 map as Wat Khanun Yuan (วัดขนุนญวน). (2)

The temple was renamed in 1971 Wat Phrom Niwat by King Rama IX. Wat Phrom
Niwat is classified as a third class Royal temple of the 2th grade - Voraviharn, following
a ranking system for royal temples initiated in 1913. [1]

Near Phrom Niwat was one of the former seven northern ferries across the old Lopburi
River - at present Khlong Mueang or city canal - linking the monastery with the North
Landing near the Sat Kop Gate and the Sat Kop Fortress. (3) [3]

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 at
Wat Khun Yuan in Salapun. [4][5][6]

Wat Phrom Niwat Worawihan is located in Geo. Coord.: 14° 21' 34.99" N, 100° 32'
53.97" E.

Footnotes:

(1) Lan Na, the kingdom founded by King Mangrai in the late thirteenth century, was
known as the Yonok country, the home of the Thai Yon or Thai Yuan. The Tai group
which migrated to this area (Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Chiang Rai, Phrae, and
Nan) was called Yuan or Yonok and had previously settled in the Golden Triangle area
where Burma, Thailand and Laos meet now. [1] Wat Khun Yuan's construction could
have been sponsored by a nobleman of the Northern Chiang Mai area; hence it's name.
(2) Phraya Boran Rachathanin denominates the temple as Khanun Yuan what could be
translated as the "Monastery of the Vietnamese Jackfruit". Khanun Yuan is also the name
for a species of fish called Lactarius Lactarius and known as the False or Milky Travelly.
(3) In Ayutthayan times there were twenty-two ferry routes. In the northern area, the six
other crossings were: Tha Ma Ap Nam to
Wat Choeng Tha, Tha Khan to Sala Trawen,
Tha Sip Bia to
Wat Pho, Wat Tha Sai to Wat Rong Khong, Wat Song to Wat Pa
Khonthi and Tha Khun Nang to Wat Mae Nang Plum. [2] See "The Boat & Ferry
Landings of Ayutthaya".

References:

[1] Buddhist sculpture of Northern Thailand By Carol Stratton, Miriam McNair Scott -
Serindia Publications - Page 3 & 20.
[2] Website www.dhammathai.org/watthai/listroyalwat1.php - data retrieved 14 Dec 09.
[3] Athibai Phaenthi Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya kap khamwinitjai khong Phraya Boran
Racha Thanin - Explanation of the map of the Capital of Ayutthaya with a ruling of
Phraya Boran Rachathanin - Revised 2nd edition and Geography of the Ayutthaya
Kingdom - Ton Chabab print office - Nonthaburi (2007) - page 92.
[4] Geographical description of Ayutthaya: Documents from the palace - Dr Winai
Pongsripian - Bangkok (2007).
[5] Note on the Testimonies and the Description of Ayutthaya - Chris Baker - Journal of
the Siam Society, Vol. 99, 2011 - page 77 (paragraph on KWPS).
[6] 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.
View from the east
Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - January 2010
Reviewed May 2011, November 2013, March 2015
View from the north
Inner wall and gate
Side wall of the ubosot
(View from the east)
(View from the north)
(Inner wall and gate)
(Side wall of the ubosot)
Detail of a 19th century map
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
(Detail of a 19th century map - Courtesy of the Sam
Chao Phraya Museum - map is orientated S-N)
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
1926)
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)