TAMNAK JAO PHRAYA KALAHOM (ตำหนักเจ้าพระยากลาโหม)
Text, map & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - April 2012
Tamnak Jao Phraya Kalahom or Tamnak Phra Jao Prasat Thong is situated off the
city island in the western area of Ayutthaya in Ban Pom Sub-district just north of
Wat
Chai Watthanaram [Wat Jayavathanarama].

The royal pavilion was constructed by King Prasat Thong (r.1629-1656) before the
main work of the construction of Wat Chai Watthanaram started in 1630; in order to
enable the king to follow the temple's construction progress. He built the royal monastery
on the bank of the Chao Phraya River to make merit for his foster-mother, the wife of
Okya Sri Thammathirat, as well to show himself as a man of great Buddhist merit. The
construction of the monastery may have taken about 20 years to complete as there are
indications the monastery was inaugurated in 1649. The pavilion (tamnak) afterwards
had probably a religious function in the sense that the king prepared himself in this
location before performing a ceremony a the temple.

And at the house of the Supreme Holy Imperial Mother, the Holy-Lord-Omnipotent
ordered the construction of a holy great cedi reliquary. It possessed holy porticos
surrounding it and the corners of those holy porticos were fashioned into beautiful
pagodas of the directions and beautiful pagodas at intervals. And it contained a
holy recitation hall, a holy preaching hall, and a Buddhist academy, and
dormitories were built and presented to the holy monks in great numbers. When it
was finished it was given the name of the Monastery of the Victorious and
Prosperous Temple. On its lord abbot the King bestowed the holy name of the
Holy Victorious Senior Monk, Royal Abbot of the Forest Dwelling Sect, and [on
the monastery] bestowed a steady consignment of food in perpetuity without cease
in memory of His mother.
 [1]

Beth Fouser - stating McGill - wrote that King Prasat Thong was
"reported to have
favoured Wat Chai Watthanaram, where he often went to perform religious
ceremonies. On one occasion, after the prediction of the court astrologer that
there was going to be a fire in the royal palace, the king packed his possessions
into boats and waited in front of Wat Chai Wathanaram until the danger was
passed
." [2] The royal pavilion here was thus one of King Prasat Thong's favourite
places and probably for all the Ayutthayan kings thereafter.

The royal pavilion today, is only a mound of bricks with some brickwork of crumbled
walls on top of it. The mound lays silently in a small street just north of the monastic
ruins.  

The site is mentioned on a Fine Arts Department map drafted in 1993 and is situated in
Geo Coord: 14° 20' 44.96" N, 100° 32' 25.45" E.

References:

[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 215 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph.
[2]  The Lord of the Golden Tower - Beth Louise Fouser (1996) - page 49.
(Extract of a 1993 Fine Arts Department map -
Courtesy Khun Supot Prommanot, Director of the 3th
Regional Office of Fine Arts)
(Bodhi tree in situ)
(Brick mound of Tamnak Prasat Thong)
(Location where once stood the royal pavilion)