|WAT KHOK KHEMA (วัดโคกเคหมา)
|Wat Khok Khema was located on the city island in the southern part of Ayutthaya in
Pratu Chai Sub-district, east of Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park.
The monastery was situated between Khlong Chakrai Yai, an extension of Khlong Tho,
and Khlong Chakrai Noi.
It stood in the immediate vicinity of Wat Khok Khemi and east of Wat Hip. Wat Prasat
stood on its east, while Wat Khok Yai Mi was situated in the south, most closest to the
present Chao Phraya River.
The temple stood once, what are now the premises of the Ayutthaya Hospital. There
are no traces anymore visible of the monastery above ground level, though there could be
a possibility that the ancient well, was once part of the monastery.
Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown.
The site is indicated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's (PBR) map drafted in 1926 and on
1974, 1993 and 2007 Fine Arts Department maps. On a 1993 FAD map the site is
indicated as Wat Khok Yai Ma (วัดโคกยายมา) , but this must be a lapsus. This lapsus
is repeated on a 2007 FAD map, but at least on this map we find a much clearer view of
the position of the three temples Wat Khok Khema, Wat Khok Yai Mi and Wat Khok
Some remains of the temple were excavated by the Fine Arts Department (FAD) in
geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 33.30" N, 100° 33' 30.38" E (based on 2007 map).
The temple was situated north of what PBR mentions as Thanon Rong Krai (street). On
his map Wat Khok Khemi and Wat Khok Khema are situated in a cluster on a mound,
as part of their names indicate (Th: Khok = mound).
The monastery has been named after Khema, one of the two chief female disciples of the
Buddha (the other being Uppalavanna). Khema, was a daughter of the chief of the
Madra group living in the Punjab. Madra princesses were favored for their beauty and
Khema was no exception. The colour of her complexion was that of gold and she was
exceptionally beautiful. She married King Bimbisara from the Haryanka dynasty (r. 543-
491 BCE) - one of the early kings of the ancient Indian kingdom of Magadha,
strategically located on the Ganges River (now west-central Bihar state, in northeastern
India)-, who was a supporter of the Buddha and she became one of his three chief
queens. Encouraged by her husband to meet the Buddha and willing to listen his sermons,
she attained full enlightenment and became an arahant. With the king's permission, she
joined the order of nuns.
|Text & maps by Tricky Vandenberg - July 2010
Updated July 2014
|(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
|(Detail of a 1974 Fine Arts Department map -
Courtesy Dr. Surat Lertlum, Chulachomklao Royal
|(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)