|WAT SOM (วัดส้ม)
|Wat Som or the Monastery of the Citrus Fruit is situated in the Ayutthaya Historical
Park in Pratu Chai Sub-district, east of Khlong Chakra Yai and east of Somdet Phra Sri
Nakharin Park. The temple is located northeast of Wat Ubosot.
There is no record of when exactly the monastery was established, however estimated
from the shape of its main Khmer-style prang and the decorative stucco the principal
prang should date back to the Early Ayutthaya period (1350 - 1488 AD).
The prang has some of the best preserved stucco ornaments of any temple in Ayutthaya.
There are highly detailed geometric patterns and a number of mythological figures -
including Rahu eating the moon during an eclipse. Its lintels are especially worth a look.
To the east of the prang lies the foundations of a vihara.
A few years ago the Fine Arts Department uncovered to the north of its vihara, the base
of an octagonal chedi at approximately two meters below the ground surface. The same
depth as that of the original base of the principal prang unearthed in an earlier
Wat Som is found on Engelbert Kaempfer's sketch map drafted in 1690.
This temple is mentioned under the name Wat Som Noi on a mid-19th century map. On
this map, Wat Som Noi stood south of Wat Som Yai along the east bank of Khlong
Chakrai Yai. Wat Tong Pa Mo Noi stood southeast (1). Opposite Khlong Chakrai Yai
and on the southern bank of Khlong Klaep stood Wat Yi Rai (2). The mid-19th century
map indicates no presence of a chedi or prang.
Taking as reference points Khlong Klaep and Wat Hip on both maps, the location of
Wat Som Noi could be denominated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map as Wat Som.
If this should be the case, it remains an open question why Wat Som Noi was not
indicated with a prang-symbol (3) on the mid-19th century map.
The historical background of the temple is unknown.
The restored ruin of Wat Som is located in Geo Coord: 14° 20' 43.55" N, 100° 33'
(1) Wat Thong Pa Mo Noi consisted likely of two temple sites being Wat Thong and
Wat Pa Mo.
(2) It should be noted that Phraya Boran Rachathanin positioned Wat Yi Rai on the
northern bank of Khlong Klaep. This temple is also known under the name Wat Pi Rai.
(3) Circle with cross inside.
 Ayutthaya, a World Heritage (2000) - page 64/65.
|Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg
Updated July 2015
|(Detail of a 19th century map - map is orientated S-N)
|(Prang of Wat Som)
|(View from the northeast)
|(View from the east)
|(View from the west)
|(Detail of Engelbert Kaempfer's sketch map - Anno
|(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
|(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)