WAT PHO 1 (วัดโพธิ์)
Wat Pho or the Monastery of the Bodhi Tree is located off the city island in the
northern area of Ayutthaya in Khlong Sra Bua Sub-district. This area, east of
Sra Bua, was called before Thung Kaeo. The ruins of Wat Pho are situated in between
Wat Kuti Thong and Wat Wong Khong. To find the relatively well-preserved ruins you
need to go off road on a small path leading to the site.

Access to the monastery was via a canal called Khlong Wat Pho; which can be noticed
Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926. A ferry service - one of the former
seven northern ferries across the old Lopburi River - was going up and down from the
Ten Cowries Landing on the northeast corner of
Wat Thammikarat on the city's side
across to Khlong Wat Po. (1) [1]

In earlier times this monastery seems to have been surrounded by a moat, as still traces
of it can be seen. On a Fine Arts Department map dating from 1974 it is suggested that
Khlong Wat Pho had a connection with
Khlong Ban Pla Mo. Khlong Wat Po has been
filled in the last century, probably when the road linking
Wat Mai Khlong Sra Bua to
Wat Wong Khong was constructed.

In situ are the restored ruins of an ordination hall, a vihara and four foundations of
satellite chedis, all surrounded by a "Kamphaeng Kaeo" or crystal wall. These structures
had their main entrance on the south side as the Buddha images must have faced the
Lopburi River. All structures are built in an east-west alignment.

To the west of the monastic sanctuary stands a royal residence (tamnak) mostly used by
high-ranking people when visiting a temple. The building has windows in Arabic style,
divulging Iranian influence. The area is partly surrounded by a moat. In the north of the
site stands a chedi with a double redented dome, indicative of the architecture from the
Late Ayutthaya period (1629-1769 AD).

Bricks still can be found over a large area, so the monastery could have contained much
more structures. Following the Fine Arts Department, the site was 8 Rai, 1 Ngan and 56
Talang Wa, which is approximately 70 acres.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction is unknown.

The site is difficult to access in the rainy season due to flooding.


(1) In the Ayutthayan era there were twenty-two ferry routes. In the northern area, the
six other crossings were: Tha Nuea to
Wat Khun Yuan, Tha Ma Ap Nam to Wat
Choeng Tha, Tha Khan to Sala Trawen, Wat Tha Sai to Wat Rong Khong, Wat Song
Wat Pa Khonthi and Tha Khun Nang to Wat Mae Nang Plum. [1] See "The Boat &
Ferry Landings of Ayutthaya".


[1] Athibai Phaenthi Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya kap khamwinitjai khong Phraya Boran
Racha Thanin - Explanation of the map of the Capital of Ayutthaya with a ruling of
Phraya Boran Rachathanin - Revised 2nd edition and Geography of the Ayutthaya
Kingdom - Ton Chabab print office - Nonthaburi (2007) - page 92.
View of Wat Pho during the rainy season
Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - August 2009
Updated May 2011, March 2015
The sermon hall or vihara
The ordination hall or ubosot
Chedi in situ
(View of Wat Pho during the rainy season)
(The ordination hall or ubosot)
(The sermon hall or vihara)
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
(Chedi in situ)
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)
(Detail of a 19th century map - Courtesy of the Sam
Chao Phraya Museum - map is orientated S-N)
Detail of a 19th century map
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map