WAT MAHA LOK (วัดมหาโลก)
Wat Maha Lok or the Monastery of the Great World is still in use by the Buddhist
clergy. The monastery grounds look somehow large and kuti are scattered around.
The temple is located off the city island on the Phaniat peninsula, just east of
Wat Sam
Wihan in the northeastern area in Hua Ro Sub-district. It lies along the new Lopburi
River, opposite Wat Khae (on Ko Loi) and was strategically positioned at the
confluence with the canal leading to the
Pa Sak River.

The temple was mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya in the chapter on the
rebellion of Tham Thian in 1696 (Reign of King Phetracha 1688-1703) who tried to
attack the City of Ayutthaya from this location, but was struck by the guns of the Maha
Chai Fortress, fell of his elephant and died.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Holy Lord Omnipotent assumed in His holy heart that
Phra Khwan and his troops were advancing and thereupon ordered His holy
throne boat to be prepared with the intention of fleeing. The Prince of the Holy
Royal Palace Enclosure of the Excellent Site of Auspiciousness and one of His
original crown servants prostrated themselves and said to the King, “We would
beg to take a look to be sure first.” Then they ascended to take a look from on top
of the Fort of Grand Victory. Meanwhile, Tham Thian, having driven his elephant
on in to the edge of the
Monastery of the Grand World, had advanced to the
middle of the dam embankment. The original crown servant looked and saw his
features clearly, realized that he, in truth, was not Lord Phra Khwan, and
thereupon informed the Prince of the Holy Royal Palace Enclosure of the Excellent
Site of Auspiciousness. He issued a holy command ordering [men] to fire the great
guns forth. They struck Tham Thian and he fell off the elephant and died. The
Khula riding on the rear of his elephant leaped down from the elephant and fled
off. [Men] were able to follow and catch him in the Vicinity of the Monastery of
the Parallel Khao San Forest. The retainers, soldiers and leaders were routed and
fled, scattering about, while the male troops and female troops who had been
advancing along behind still marched forward in great crowds. Now that bull
elephant Kang was caught and brought in to be presented to the King. As for all
those groups of people, men and women, the Supreme Holy Lord Omnipotent
manifested His holy compassion to them by saying, “The wretches are people of
ignorance, with no discoverable sense. Set the wretches free and do not inflict any
punishment on them!”

The exact date of construction of the monastery is unknown.

The name of the temple 'Maha Lok' could refer to one of the positive planes of existence
in Hindu mythology being Maharlok (Sanskrit: Plane of greatness) located above the
plane of Heaven (Swargalok). It is also called the Devaloka, the fourth highest of the
seven upper worlds. The Lokas are described in the Vishnu Purana.

Wat Maha Lok is located in geographical coordinates: 14° 22' 14.25" N, 100° 34'
30.02" E.


[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman - page 322 / Source:
Phan Canthanumat - Tham Thian Rebellion 1696.
Premises of Wat Maha Lok
Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg
Updated June 2016
(Premises of Wat Maha Lok)
Buddha images in the ordination hall
(Buddha images in the ordination hall)
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
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)