WAT PHOTHARAM (วัดโพธาราม)
Wat Photharam (1) or the Monastery of the Bodhi Tree was located off Ayutthaya's
city island in the eastern area in Phai Ling Sub-district, east of the
Pa Sak River today

There are no visible  traces of this monastery remaining at ground level. Its period of
construction is unknown.

This monastery is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya  as being the site
where the King of Prae and the left wing of the army of Hongsawadi, set up its stockade
during the investment of Ayutthaya in 1549. The Mon  armies were set up in a circle
around the capital. In only one day they finished making a network of bridges of bamboo
slats sewn with rattan across all the  rivers, streams and canals so that the troops and
horses could walk anywhere. [1]

The King of Hongsawadi, having spoken, marched his army down to Ayutthaya on
the following day, on Wednesday, the tenth day of the waning moon of the second
month, 911, a year of the cock, first of the decade. The army of the Uparat, the
vanguard, set up [BDEF: its stockade] in Phaniat Township. The stockade of the
King of Præ, the left wing, was set up at Thung
Wat Photharam Township to Kò
Kæo Canal. The army of the King of Ava, the right wing, set up its stockade at [E:
Thung] Wat Phutthaisawan Township to Takhian Canal. The army of the Phraya
of Tòngu, the army of the Phraya of Cittòng and the army of the Phraya of
Lakhoeng, the commissariat, set up their stockade [BDEF: from] [C: at] [D:
Tha] Ka Ròng Monastery down to Chai Watthanaram Monastery. The army of the
Phraya of Bassein and the army of the Phraya of Sariang, the vanguard of the
main army, set up their stockade at Lumphli [BDEF: Township]. The main army
set up [CF: its stockade] at Wat Pho Phüak Township, on the Pakkhu tax station
rice fields. And the army of Prince Maha Thammaracha set up [E: its stockade] in
Makham Yòng Township behind the royal stockade. The armies, which were set up
in a circle [BDEF: around the Capital] [C: on that occasion], in only one day
finished making a network of bridges of bamboo slats sewn with rattan across all
the rivers, streams and canals so the troops and horses could walk anywhere.

Wat Photharam stood probably in the vicinity of a royal pavilion (tamnak), which was
located along
Khlong Ban Bat. At the final days of Ayutthaya the pavilion was habited
by Princess Rasami Sri Suriyawong Phong Kasatri, a daughter of King Borommakot.
During excavations on the site a shattered stone tablet was found. The damaged
engravings recounted that this monastery was called before
Wat Phet and became
ruined. The monastery was renovated and its name changed into wat Photharam by
Princess Rasami. It is therefore deducted that this monastery should have been situated
in the vicinity of the lodging of the princess. The lodgings of Princess Rasami became
also a safe haven for ex-King Uthumphon (r. 1758) after the Burmese attack in 1760. [2]

The monastery was located in Geo. Coord.: 14° 21' 13.70" N, 100° 35' 4.68" E.

Footnotes:

(1) The suffix "tharam" is used in Sanskrit  for a comparative and superlative form (great
- greater, string - stronger); hence Wat Pho - Wat Photharam. [3]

References:

[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 47 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra
Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - The Hongsawadi Army Invests Ayutthaya.
[2] Phraya Boran Rachathanin - Tamnan Krung Kao (1907) - pages 82-3.
[3] A Sanskrit grammar; including both the classical language, and the older dialects, of
Veda and Brahmana - William Dwight Whitney (1979) -  Leipzig, Breitkopf and Härtel -
page 159 #473.
Former location of Wat Photharam
(Former location of Wat Photharam)
Text, maps & photograph by Tricky Vandenberg - November 2009
Updated April 2013, March 2015
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
1926)
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)