WAT VIHAN KLAEP (วัดวิหานแกลบ)
Wat Vihan Klaep is situated on the city island in a remote area slightly north of  
Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park. To its east is Khlong Tho (also known as Khlong Cha
Krai Yai).

Wat Vihan Klaep is located in a swampy area that is prone to flooding. A small lake is
located nearby it. Unfortunately, the land around this monastery is used as a dumping
grounds and a place to burn garbage. As a result, the remains of this monastery have
greatly eroded. There is only a small shrine in situ. This consists of four wooden posts
and a tin roof. Below this structure is a single Buddha image in the Taming Mara pose.
The Buddha is gold-painted, and the pedestal is in the colorful style of the Ratanakosin
period. Fragments of an older Buddha image are situated on the floor of the shrine. This
shrine is all that remains of Wat Vihan Klaep. The area around the former monastery has
been contaminated with modern debris, so future excavations on site would be
problematic.

Wat Vihan Klaep was named after a canal that flowed in front of it along an east/west
axis. This water system connected with canals to its north. On recent maps these feeder
canals are sometimes labeled:
Khlong Fang and Khlong Chang Maha Chai (though they
probably had other names as well). The temple’s location might have served as a place
for water runoff during flood season and a reservoir during drier times. It is portrayed in
the middle of a swamp on
Phraya Boran Rachathanin’s 1926 map and the Fine Arts
Department’s 1993. This saturation by water has greatly contributed to the monastery’s
destruction.

This is little known about the history of Wat Vihan Klaep. Western cartographers
referred to the area around this site as a place for fields, gardening, and orchards. The
land had not been well-developed or heavily populated. M. de La Mare referred to this
area as “Quartier Champetre”. Wat Vihan Klaep is most likely one of the unnamed
pagodas drawn on his map in 1751.
Text & photographs by Ken May - September 2009
Addendum

Wat Vihan Klaep is much likely Wat Jan on a mid-19th century map. The latter map
shows Wat Jan (1) located in a pond in the middle of
Khlong Klaep also called Khlong
Tha Phra.

Both maps,
Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map and the oldest map, show the temple in the
same north-south axis in relation to
Wat Sangkha Tha. The mid-19th century map
indicates the presence of a chedi.

Footnotes:

(1) Diospyros decandra or gold apple.
Addendum by Tricky Vandenberg - April 2011
(Sala in the vicinity of the former site)
(Buddha image in situ)
(View of the area)