Phaniat, a Thai word for corral, was an area north of the city of Ayutthaya bordered on the west by the old Lopburi River, a stretch which is called
Khlong Hua Ro; on the east by the new Lopburi river, a former extension of Khlong Ko Loeng; on the south by Hua Ro and on the north by
Suan Yo (1). Today Phaniat is situated in Suan Phrik sub-district of Mueang Ayutthaya (2); an area known before as Thamle Ya (3).

The area is cut through by
Khlong Nam Ya, a likely defensive moat, running just north of Wat Borommawong and linking the old and new Lopburi

The area received its name after a new kraal was built here in the reign of King Maha Thammaracha (r. 1569-1590), after the northeastern corner
and the old corral near
Wat Song was brought within the city walls around 1580.

In 942, a year of the dragon, the walls of the Capital were dismantled and rebuilt up to the edge of the river. [1]

The location is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya as a gathering area for troops prior going into battle. In 1551, 50,000 men were
grouped here to be part of an invasive force to take the capital of Cambodia (See
1551 - War with Lovek) [2]. In 1661 we find Chao Phraya
Kosathibodhi Pan in the vicinity of the
Elephant Kraal training for warfare in erecting a bamboo stockade by 3,000 men, after King Narai requested
him to lead an army of forty thousand conscript troops, two hundred war elephants and four hundred horses to Chiang Mai. [3]

Next to an army assembly area, Phaniat was also a place where special rituals and ceremonies were held. Prince Naresuan (r. 1590-1605) was
proclaimed king here at the age of 35, crowned with the proper solemnities and the oaths of allegiance sworn to him. [4] In 1657, King Narai (r.
1656-1688) ordered the construction of a building and assembly hall (
Tamnak Phaniat) especially reserved for the performance of all the royal
ceremonies in Phaniat area. [5]

Phaniat has also a gruesome and lugubrious side. The area was witness of a number of incursions by the Burmese, in which they erected stockades to
invest the city of Ayutthaya. These attacks on the city occurred in the Siamese - Burmese wars of 1563-4, 1568-9 and 1766-7. Jeremias Van Vliet,
a VOC Dutchman, recounts that King Naresuan (r. 1590-1605) burnt all the rowers of the royal boats - around 1600 men - alive at Phaniat, after
the oarsmen made an error in the process of landing his royal vessel at the time of his coronation in 1590. [4]

After the fall of Ayutthaya in April 1767, the Burmese kept the
Pho Sam Ton Camp as a rear base with about 3000 Mon and Burmese soldiers.
Phraya Tak - the later King Taksin (r. 1767-1782) -  after having taken Thonburi intended to take the Burmese camp in November 1767. A
Burmese naval fleet was dispatched to intercept the army of Phraya Tak at Phaniat, but the naval force fled out of fear of Phraya Tak's troops.
Phraya Tak attacked the camp from the east, fighting his way through Phaniat and Thamle Ya and chasing the Mon and Burmese into the security of
their camp. After two days the camp surrendered.

Following are the temples and ruins in alphabetical order, located in this area: Wat Borommawong,
Wat Chedi Daeng, Wat Chumphon, Wat Khuha
Sawan, Wat Nak and Wat Si Fan.

Points of historical interest in the area are: the Elephant Kraal, Tamnak Phaniat, the
War Elephant Monument and an old kiln.


(1) Suan Yo = Garden of Indian Mulberry Trees - Morinda Citrifolia or Indian mulberry is a tree in the coffee family, Rubiaceae. Its native range
extends through Southeast Asia and Australasia.
(2) Suan Phrik = Garden of Chili (pepper).
(3) Popularly shortened as Thale Ya, Sea of Grass.


[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 82 / Source: Luang Prasoet - Ayutthaya’s Fortifications Rebuilt, 1580.
[2] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 29 / Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat,
Phra Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - War With Lawæk, 1551.
[3] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 291-3 / Source: British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat & Royal
Autograph - War With Chiang Mai.
[4] Van Vliet's Siam - Chris Baker, Dhiravat Na Pombejra, Alfons Van Der Kraan & David K. Wyatt (2005) - page 228.
[5] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 245 / Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend
Phonnarat, Phra Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - Casting an Image, and the Ceremony of the Register of Brahma.
Text by Tricky Vandenberg - June 2012