WAT CHATTHAN (วัดฉัตรทัน)
Wat Chatthan was situated on the city island in Pratu Chai sub-district. The monastery
was situated on the west bank of
Khlong Pratu Khao Pluak - Pratu Jin and in close
vicinity of the
Bhramin shrines and the Chikun Bridge.

The name of the temple is derived from Chattban, or Chaddanta, a king of elephants,
who, according to Siamese legends, lives in a golden palace on the shores of the
Himalayan lake Chatthan (one of the seven lakes of Himaphan or Himalaya), attended by
eighty thousand ordinary elephants. Burnouf applied the term Erawan or Airavana to a
one-headed elephant, and considered the three-headed elephant to be Chatthan, which
he identified as Chaddanta, the elephant of six defences or tusks. Erawan, the
three-headed elephant of Indra is often represented on the gables of Thai temples. [1]

The temple is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. In December 1765
(January 1766) a heavy fire broke out on a late Friday night at
Tha Sai (Sand Landing)
and spread south along
Khlong Pratu Khao Pluak via the Elephant Bridge (Saphan
Chang) towards
Wat Racha Burana and Wat Maha That to finally stop at Wat Chatthan.
The Royal Chronicles mentioned that over ten thousand monastic structures and houses
were destroyed. [2]

When Saturday arrived, the fourth day of the waxing moon in the first month of the
year of the dog, eighth of the decade, in the year 1128 of the Royal Era, late in the
middle of the night, a fire broke out inside the Holy Metropolis. It started burning
at Sand Landing, caught and spread on in to the Bridge of the Elephants and the
Canal of Unhusked Rice, and then came in and ignited the Coconut Forest, the
Thon Forest, the Charcoal Forest, the Flame Tree Forest, the Medicine Forest, the
Monastery of the Royal Repairs and the Monastery of the Holy Glorious Grand
Reliquary. The fire continued and only stopped at the
Monastery of Chatthan. The
dormitories, preaching halls, houses and homes which the fire ignited and burned
on that occasion totaled over ten thousand buildings.

Its historical background and period of construction are unknown. The site is indicated
on a
map drafted in the mid-19th century and on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map
drafted in 1926.

Wat Chatthan was approximately situated in Geo Coord: 14° 21' 8.57" N, 100° 34'
6.52" E.


[1] The Wheel of the Law - Alabaster Henry (1871) - page 295.
[2] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 514 /
Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat & Royal Autograph.
Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno 1926
Text & maps by Tricky Vandenberg - January 2010
Updated January 2011, April 2014
(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
Detail of a 19th century map
(Detail of a 19th century map - Courtesy Chao Sam
Phraya Museum)
Detail of a 1993 Fine Arts Department map
(Detail of a 1993 Fine Arts Department map -
Courtesy Khun Supot Prommanot, Director of the 3th
Regional Office of Fine Arts)

There are discrepancies between the 19th century map and Phraya Boran
Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 regarding the area west of Khlong Pratu Jin.

On the oldest map Wat Chatthan is situated north of
Talaeng Kaeng Street instead
of south. Phraya Boran Rachathanin positions in this location the Place of the Deities
or "
Thewa Sathan". Wat Chatthan is here in a line with Wat Song Khon instead of
Wat Saphan Nak.

Wat Noi Nang Muk on the 19th century map is situated at the south-west corner
created by Khlong Pratu Jin and Talaeng Kaeng Street (Chikun Bridge) in the location
where Phraya Boran positions Wat Chatthan on his map.

On a 1957 Fine Arts Department map we find Wat Chatthan in the position north of
Talaeng Kaeng Street, opposite the old Police station, identical to the 19th century

Wat Chatthan is not indicated on the 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map, what lets
presume that the site was never excavated. Bueng Phra Ram has been largely altered
since the 19th century and especially its south-eastern corner where a large fountain
has been constructed. The area has been completely reshaped and it will be today
very hard to nearly impossible for archaeologists to determine the exact location of
Wat Chatthan.


[1] Tri Amatyakul - Guide to Ayudhya and Bang-Pa-In - Prachandra Press, Bangkok,
Detail of a Fine Arts Department map - Anno 1957
Addendum by Tricky Vandenberg - May 2014