WAT HO RAKHANG (วัดหอระฆัง)
Wat Ho Rakhang or the Monastery of the Bell Tower is located on the western side
of the
Makham Riang Canal (formerly known as Khlong Nai Kai). This restored ruin is
situated between Rochana Road and Pa Thon Road.

The most outstanding feature at this restored monastery is its two-tiered bell tower. This
tower doubles as an entrance gate from the canal. It has arched gateways along the
east/west axis. The second tier has windows in all four of the cardinal directions, and
there are number of indented corners. The bell is completely missing. Behind the bell
tower, there are the remains of a sermon hall. This consists of the basic foundation layer
and some stubs of pillars. A large number of headless Buddha images lay in stacks on
the altar. These are often decorated by people in the neighborhood. Some Bodhi trees
have sprouted on the foundation. In addition, there are traces of some walls and floor
tiles in situ.

There is some confusion relating to Wat Ho Rakhang. Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map
does not show it in its present location, which is surprising given its size and obvious
location beside Khlong Makham Riang. It appears on the Fine Arts Department’s 1957
guidebook only as “Bell-Tower”. The name “Wat Ho Rakhang” doesn’t appear until a
1993 Fine Arts Department map. Therefore, the history described below may be
applicable to a different temple under the same name.

Royal Chronicles do make several reference to a "Monastery of the Bell". Sometime
between 1610-1611, Si Saowaphak (who only had one eye) inherited the throne after
the death of King Ekathotsarot. Around this time, Phra Si Sin received a special religious
appointment because he became expertly versed in the Three Vedas scriptures and
various Royal manuals while ordained as a monk at the Monastery of the Bell.
Unfortunately, Phra Si Sin used this new position to form a secret plot to remove the
King from the throne. Si Saowaphak was later executed with a sandalwood club at
Khok Phraya. He only lasted one year and two months as King (Cushman 207-208).

In 1662, warfare resumed with Burma. During one battle, the Burmese tricked Siamese
troops led by Si Ratcha Decho by sending a decoy army that pretended to withdraw to
a stockade in defeat. Si Ratcha Decho led his army of 500 soldiers into the trap while
riding a white horse. Despite their noble attempt to fight back, Si Ratcha Decho and his
soldiers were captured and fettered. As a result, the Royal abbot of the Monastery of
the Bell, Phra Phimon Tham, who was skilled at divination, was asked to predict the
status of Si Ratcha Decho. The Royal abbot from this temple foresaw that military leader
would free himself from capture and gain a victory over the Burmese troops. When the
Royal abbot’s prediction proved true, King Narai praised him and presented him with
holy rewards (Cushman 280-284).

Royal Chronicles also mention that heir apparent Phra Racha Kosapan came from the
village of the Monastery of the Bell. In 1741, King Borommakot had this heir appointed
to the position of Deputy King (Cushman 434). Phra Racha Kosapan, also known as
Prince Krommuen Seppakdi, never made it to the throne. Instead he was executed by
King Uthumporn who claimed it instead (Garnier 144-145).
View of the remnants of Wat Ho Rakhang
Text & photographs by Ken May - August 2009
Maps by Tricky Vandenberg - May 2014
Damaged images in situ
Structure after which the templed was likely named
Structure after which the templed was likely named
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)
(View of the remnants of Wat Ho Rakhang)
(Damaged images in situ)
(Structure after which the templed was
likely named)
(Structure after which the templed was
likely named)