WAT JAO YA (วัดเจ้าย่า)
Wat Jao Ya  or Grandmother's Monastery is located off the city island in the northern
area of Ayutthaya in Khlong Sra Bua sub-district. The temple was situated (Lit: the
Canal of the Patterned Cloth), respectively on its east and west bank.

The monastery ground was split into two parts by a modern road. Archaeological
evidence indicates that Wat Jao Ya already dates from the Early Ayutthaya period
(1351 - 1491), a period in where the Khmer prang was the most prominent structure
within the temple compound. The monastic structures in situ are although of the Middle
(1491 - 1629) to the Late Ayutthaya period (1629 - 1767).

On the east side of the road we find a vihara with its principal chedi and a number of
satellite chedis (Th: chedi rai). On the west side of the road stands a royal residence (Th:
The main chedi was a circular stupa in Singhalese style (bell-shaped) on an elevated
platform, identical to the three chedis at
Wat Sri Sanphet, dating from the Middle
Ayutthaya period (Sukhothai influence). The chedi stood west of the vihara, the classical

The assembly hall or vihara (Th: wihan) is a rectangular building of 24 meters by 13
meters on a slightly elevated base. The main entrance faces the east, direction of the
rising sun, representing life. There are two entries at the front and the back. Around the
hall, with the exception of its west side, was a brick gallery.

Three small stupas stand behind the main chedi. The small chedis on the north and the
south of the principal chedi were circular, while the one on the west was a
twenty-rabbeted-angled chedi, a popular design starting in King Borommakot's reign
(1733 AD).

In the front, east of the vihara, are another number of chedi aligned on a north-south axis.
The small chedi on the north and the south were circular bell-shaped (Singhalese style)
and the one in the middle was a twelve-rabbeted-angled chedi, on the same elevated
platform as the small northern chedi.

According to their architecture the bell-shaped chedis were assumed to be built at the
time of construction of the principal chedi, while the twelve-rabbeted one was built in the
Late Ayutthaya period.

The tamnak is a rectangular building of 30 meters by 10 meters with two floors, showing
some western influence. There is an elevated porch at the front and at the back. The
building stands on a foundation that slightly curves over its length, having the form of a
Chinese junk, a style typical for Late Ayutthaya structures. The two-storey building
resembles the royal residential quarters that are found also at
Wat Kudi Dao, Wat Khun
Mueang Jai and Wat Maheyong. Royals sometimes stayed in this type of building while
overseeing monastery construction and renovation projects.

The bell tower is built in a kind of prang shape. The space for the hanging the bell is
constructed with twenty-rabbeted-angles and has lotus petal-shaped openings. The spire
is a small quincunx with the main prang and four smaller ones in the four cardinal
directions, nicely decorated with blue and white ceramic. The Ho Rakhang has a balcony
with balustrade and can be reached by a stairway on the eastern side.

The monastery is indicated on
Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 and
situated in geographical coordinates: 14° 22' 6.89" N, 100° 33' 34.84" E.
The Royal Residence or Tamnak
The Bell Tower
The eastern chedi rai
The brick meditation cells of Wat Jao Ya
The main chedi and western chedi rai
(The Royal Residence or Tamnak)
(The Bell Tower)
(The eastern chedi rai)
(The main chedi and western chedi rai)
Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - November 2009
Updated April 2014
(The brick meditation cells of Wat Jao Ya)
Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map
(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
(Source: Phra Rachawang lae Wat Boran nai Jangwat Phra Nakhon Sri Ayuthaya - 2511. Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)