Wat Pom Raman or the “Monastery of the Mon Fortress” is an active monastery located off the city island in the northern area of Ayutthaya in Wat Tum Sub-district. It is situated on the east bank of Khlong Hua Ro, the old Lopburi River in earlier times. Wat Klang Raman lies in its vicinity.
In situ is an ordination hall (Th: ubosot) built in the Late Ayutthaya style (1629-1767 AD), with two porches in a northwest-southeast alignment. The roof is two-tiered and the ubosot has three rectangular windows on the longest sides. The front porch has two entries, while the roof is supported by four columns; the same for the porch at the rear. The hall is surrounded by a wall (Th: Kamphaeng kaeo or Crystal wall) and has two gates with a pointed arch and colorful gable.
A sala with a large Buddha image has been recently built on the foundations of on old monastic structure. There is also a kind of prasat-like building surrounded by a pool, being a commemoration monument for the late Somdet Phra Phutthachan Tho Phrom Rangsi (1788-1872 AD). The revered monk who was patriarch in the reign of King Mongkut - Rama IV and known for containing Mae Nak's spirit. (1)
Wat Pom Raman has the same historical background as Wat Klang Raman.
Data about its construction is unknown. The site is not indicated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926, as the temple is located at the outskirts of Mueang Ayutthaya.
(1) The legend goes more or less as follows: Mae Nak lived in a small hut along Khlong Phra Khanong near Wat Maha But in Bangkok with her husband Thit Mak. Her husband was conscripted and had to go to war. Mae Nak, being pregnant, remained behind. She died during childbirth, being alone at home. Her neighbors buried her in the ground. Out of love for her husband, her spirit did not wanted to leave and waited his return. Her husband came back home from war and they continued to live together. One day her husband realized he was living with a ghost and he backed-off to the temple. Mae Nak was furious, pursued her husband and gave a bad time to the local community, terrifying everybody. Somdet Phra Phutthachan Tho Phrom Rangsi could finally overtake her and contain her spirit in the forehead bone of her skull and bound that piece of her skull within his waistband. Wat Maha But is often called Wat Mae Nak Phra Khanong, after the spirit house of Mae Nak located on the premises.
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - December 2009
(Modern vihara built on the ruins of an older one)