|WAT WIHAN THONG (วัดวิหารทอง)
|Wat Wihan Thong or the Monastery of the Golden Vihara was located off the city
island in the northern area at Hua Ro Sub-district. The temple was situated on the west
bank of the old Lopburi River, presently called Khlong Mueang or City Canal. Wat
Wihan Thong is situated north-east of Wat Intharam on private grounds. The temple
stood opposite Wat Khian on the other bank of the river.
Most of the monasteries along the old Lopburi were accessible by the water, but their
premises have been split up last century due to the construction of a road from Wat Mai
Khlong Sra Bua towards the Elephant Kraal. This is the case with Wat Kuti Thong, Wat
Wong Khong and Wat Mae Nang Plum.
In situ is a brick mound, with still some pillars, likely from the ordination hall, still
standing. They can only be accessed through the small street adjacent to Wat Intharam
and via a small path in between the stilt houses. The ruins are situated in the back garden
of the latter. A chedi and an old Bodhi tree can be found on the premises of a private
The chedi is twenty-rabbeted-angled, an architectural style from the second part of the
Late Ayutthaya period (1629 - 1767 A.D.), sometimes called the Fourth period. This
period starts with King Borommakot's ascendancy to the throne in 1733 A.D. and lasts
until the Ayutthaya kingdom was devastated by the Burmese in 1767 A.D. King
Borommakot (r. 1733-1758) was determined to renovate the old religious structures
rather than building new ones and he restored many ancient monasteries and monuments.
Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown.
The site is indicated on a mid-19th century map and on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map
drafted in 1926.
The ruins of Wat Wihan Thong are situated in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 58.38"
N, 100° 34' 6.22" E.
|Text & photographs by Tricky Vandenberg - March 2010
|(A remaining chedi from Wat Wihan Thong)
|(Close-up from the remaining chedi from Wat Wihan
|(Broken Buddha image pieces)
|(Detail of a 19th century map - Courtesy of the Sam
Chao Phraya Museum - map is orientated S-N)
|(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)