WAT SANAM KAI (วัดสนามกาย)
Wat Sanam Kai (1) was situated off the city island in the northern area of Ayutthaya in
Lum Phli sub-district, Ban Sanam Kai, Moo 4. The monastery stood once on the right
bank of the old
Lopburi River.

In situ is a brick mound with the remains of a large Buddha image. The image was
excavated and installed on the brick mound. Remnants of broken roof tiles can be found
all over the area. It is probably one of the many temple ruins around Ayutthaya which
have been broken down to its foundations by the local people in the 1950s, early 1960s
in order to sell the remaining bricks for construction work in Bangkok.

Its historical background and period of construction are unknown, although a "Kai
Monastery" is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles. The chronicles recall that in 1560
during the reign of King Chakkraphat (reign 1548-1568) the king came to this
municipality to corral fifty elephants. One of these was a white elephant with a calf. [1]
The possession of a white elephant was considered as an auspicious omen for the king’s

"In 922, a year of the monkey, the King went to corral elephants in the
Municipality of Kai Monastery and captured fifty males and females. Furthermore,
on Saturday, the eighth day of the waning moon of the twelfth month, a white
elephant, whose eyes were not albino, and a calf attached to it were taken."

The site is not indicated on a Fine Arts Department map drafted in 1993, neither on
Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map of 1926.

The site is located in geographical coordinates: 14° 23' 8.94" N, 100° 32' 53.43" E.


(1) Sanam = Field; (Rang) kai = Body.


[1] The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - Richard D. Cushman (2006) - page 31 /
Source: Luang Prasoet - Fire, Rituals, and Elephants, 1557-1560.
The broken Buddha image of Wat Sanam Kai
The broken Buddha image of Wat Sanam Kai
Text, map & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - May 2009
Updated January 2015
(The broken Buddha image of Wat Sanam Kai)
(The broken Buddha image of Wat Sanam Kai)