WAT TAO (วัดเต่า)
View of the site of Wat Tao
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - April 2009
Updated February 2014, September 2015
(View of the site of Wat Tao)
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)
Wat Tao or the Monastery of the Tortoise (1) is located outside the city island in the
western area of Ayutthaya in Pak Kran sub-district, north of
Khlong Wat Chai
Watthanaram
along road No 3469.

In situ is a large brick mound covered with vegetation.

The historical background and period of construction of the former monastery are
unknown; although, the temple is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. The
Burmese army of King Mengra set up army camps around the city of Ayutthaya early
1767. One of the stockades reinforced with bastions was set up at
Wat Tao. From this
position the city was fired at with large guns.

"Then the Burmese advanced forward and established stockades at the Monastery
of the Krachai Plant, the Monastery of the Victory Pavilion, the
Monastery of the
Tortoise
, the Monastery of the God Indra and the Monastery of Red." [1]

"The next morning Nemiao, the general of the armies, conscripted men and had all
his army masters and brigade masters lead them on in to establish stockades at the
Monastery of the Krachai Plant, the Monastery of the Victory Pavilion, the
Monastery of the Tortoise, the Monastery of the God Indra and the Monastery of
Red. They had bastions built in each and every stockade and large and small guns
taken up onto them to be fired at the capital in volleys."
[2]

Wat Tao is mentioned on a Fine Arts Department map drafted in 1993 but is not
indicated on
Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map of 1926.

The site is located in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 29.95" N, 100° 32' 2.11" E.

Footnotes:

(1) Also called the Monastery of the Stove, depending the version of the Royal
Chronicles (Thai tone mark issue).

References:

[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman - page 512 / Source:
Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, & Reverend Phonnarat.
[2] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman - page 512 / Source:
Royal Autograph.