|WAT MAHA SAMAN (วัดมหาสมัน)
|Wat Maha Saman or the Monastery of the Rising Morning is located on the city
island in the southwestern area of Ayutthaya in Pratu Chai Sub-District, west of the
Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park. It is situated opposite the Siriyalai Palace.
In situ is a restored ruin of an ubosot or ordination hall with its entrance to the east. The
locations of the sema stones are visible. At its West side stands a bell-shaped Thai style
chedi. The ubosot was surrounded by an inner wall. Some parts of the outer wall still can
be seen. The whole monastery was surrounded by a moat. The area can be accessed via
The temple could be named after the Schomburgks’ Deer (1), a deer endemic to
Thailand and making reference to the Jataka of the "Deer King", where Buddha in a
previous life takes the form of a deer being the leader of a herd of deer in the
Isipatanamarukatiyawan Forest. This forest is the actual Deer Park in Sarnath (close to
Varanasi/Benares - North India) where Gautama Buddha first taught the Dharma to the
group of five companions with whom he had previously sought enlightenment and where
the Buddhist Sangha came into existence through the enlightenment of Kaundinya.
The temple bearing the name "Maha Saman", could also be translated "the rising
morning", referring to the guardian deity of the Theravada Buddhist religion and Sri
Lanka. Sumana Saman invited Lord Buddha to the Samanalakanda and on request,
Gautama Buddha left his footprint on the rock at top of the Sri Pada mountain (Adam's
Peak) as a token of symbolic worship 2,580 years ago. Following his death, Prince
Sumana Saman became a god by the name God Maha Sumana Saman. The God Maha
Sumana Saman is depicted crowned and bejeweled, holding a lotus flower in his right
hand while accompanied by a white elephant.
Its historical background and period of construction are unknown.
The monastery is indicated on a mid-19th century map in the same position as on Phraya
Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926.
The restored ruin of Wat Maha Saman is located in geographical coordinates: 14° 20'
40.02" N, 100° 32' 44.79" E.
(1) The Schomburgk's deer was named after Sir Robert H. Schomburgk, who was the
British consul in Bangkok from 1857-1864 CE.
|Text, maps & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - July 2009.
Updated December 2014
|(View from the west)
|(The restored chedi)
|(View from the east)
|(Detail of a 19th century map - Courtesy of the Sam
Chao Phraya Museum)
|(Detail of Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map - Anno
|(Detail of a 2007 Fine Arts Department GIS map -
Courtesy of the Fine Arts Department - 3th Region)