|WAT MAKLAM (วัดมะกลำ)
|Wat Maklam is located in the Phai Ling area within a sports complex outside of the city
island. The deserted ruin can be found on the outskirts next to a road that encircles the
sports complex. It is difficult to see and covered in heavy vegetation most of the time.
Unfortunately, a great amount of garbage has been dumped on this historic site.
The architectural design consists of two structures. This monastery has been serious
eroded, so it is difficult to make claims without further excavation. One eastern-oriented
sermon hall contains traces of an altar with various stacks of disassembled Buddha
images. A second building can be found behind this, which looks as if its floor has
undergone some restoration. Both structures consist of only the basic foundation and
neither of them have surviving walls. There is not a clear trace of a chedi, but there is a
small mound that may contain the remains of one.
There is no historic record for this monastery; however, the Fine Arts Department lists
other temples within this sports complex as Middle Ayutthaya period constructions.
There is evidence that earth walls once passed through this southeastern area but were
knocked over to make room for rice fields. This could explain Wat Maklam's existence
in such a remote location.
In 1972, construction work was suspended on an extension of an agricultural school in
this area after machinery dug up the remains of at least five temples. It is therefore
interesting to note that virtually all of the buildings in this sports complex were
constructed above the ground without further digging
|Text by Ken May - May 2009
|(Site view of Wat Maklam)
|(Brick work in situ)
|(Detail of a 1993 Fine Arts Department map -
Courtesy Khun Supot Prommanot, Director of the 3th
Regional Office of Fine Arts)
|(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)
Wat Maklam is indicated on a 1993 and 2007 Fine Arts Department map. The
information board in situ mentions that the temple was set up in an east-west axis
alignment. The principal chedi was in the form of a prang with a vihara in the east. In the
south two satellite chedi were discovered.
The vihara was built with bricks and mortar. It had a rectangular plan and faced east as
usual. At the back of the structure was a pedestal for the principal Buddha image. The
vihara was largely damaged over the decades and no evidence could be found of
supporting pillars, neither remnants of the walls.
Today only the foundations of these monastic structures remain (1). The Fine Arts
Department dates the site back to the Early to Middle Ayutthaya period (14 - 17th
century AD). The temple was restored in the late Ayutthaya period around the 18 - 19th
Wat Maklam is situated on the horizontal axis Wat Khanan - Wat Maklam - Wat Maha
Thalai - Wat Mo Hon. The monastery is east of Wat Khanan and north of Wat Wihan
The site was restored after the large flooding of October-November 2011
Following an interview with Khun Chin near Wihan Satru on 16 March 2016, the site is
incorrectly named Wat Maklam by the Fine Arts Department as the original name was
Wat Pho Phueak.
The ruins of Wat Maha Thalai are situated in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 55.38"
N, 100° 35' 47.19" E.
(1) I interviewed quite a bit of elderly people in the four directions around Ayutthaya and
I could come only to the conclusion that nearly all the ruins in or around of Ayutthaya, be
it the outer and inner walls or the monastic structures themselves, had been dismantled in
the late fifties, early sixties on a large scale. The bricks were locally used to help expand
other temple sites, but mostly sold to contractors and shipped with trucks and boats to
|Addendum, photographs & maps by Tricky Vandenberg
Updated March 2016