Wat Am Mae was located in the south of Ayutthaya’s city island in the Pratu Chai Sub-district in an area earlier called Thung Khaek (1). The sanctuary was located on the west bank of Khlong Pratu Thep Mi (2), which connected the old Lopburi River, today Khlong Mueang (3) in the north with the Chao Phraya River in the south at Thep Mi watergate.

In the vicinity of Wat Am Mae was the Saphan Wanon, an old bridge, which remains were still visible in 2011 CE but has now been reconstructed by the Fine Arts Department. Wat Borom Phuttharam lay east, while Wat Pa Jak stood on its south. To its north was Wat Pa Rong, located along the same canal. There are no more traces visible of this monastery above ground level.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown.

In the vicinity of Wat Am Mae in the Great Khaek Village was a fresh market called the "Chinese Market". [1]

The site is indicated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 CE but named "Wat Am Yae". Phraya Boran (1871-1936 CE) was the Superintendent Commissioner of Monthon Ayutthaya from 1925 till 1929 CE but occupied important functions since 1896 CE in Monthon Ayutthaya.

"Am Mae" is not a Thai name. Still, more likely a Muslim name possibly derived from the name "Ahmad" and might be connected to Sheikh Ahmad, a prominent Muslim merchant from Persia in Ayutthaya in the early 17th century or Sheikh Ahmad's family branch, who became very powerful in the Siamese administration from that period onwards. I believe Wat Am Mae could have been a mosque.

The tomb of Sheikh Ahmad stands on the compound of the Rajabhat Institute in Ayutthaya at the Ayutthaya's Teachers' Training College, close to the Ayutthaya Historical Study Centre. The memorial is located about 200 metres southwest of the former location of Wat Am Mae.

In the old texts of the Kamhaikhan Khun Luang Ha Wat and the Kamhaikhan Khun Luang Wat Pradu Songtham is mentioned that Wat Am Mae stood at the end of Great Khaek Village Jao Chen. Jao Chen refers to the Phraya Chula Rachamontri in the reign of King Suriyamarin (reign 1758-1767). Chen was a Persian Muslim and the last Chula Rachamontri of the Ayutthayan era. If we look at Kaempfer's sketch, we can see, next to the symbol of a temple being Wat Am Mae, a construction with a crescent moon. The latter could have been the workplace of the Phraya Chula Rachamontri. Engelbert Kaempfer (1651-1716 CE) was a medical doctor working for the Dutch VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) who surveyed the city of Ayutthaya in June 1690 CE.

Wat Am Mae was situated in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 56.10" N, 100° 33' 54.19" E.


(1) "Khaek" (Thai language) is a foreigner from the Arabian subcontinent, the Indian sub-continent, Malaysia or Indonesia.

(2) Khlong Pratu Thep Mi was situated on Ayutthaya's city island outside the Historical Park in Pratu Chai sub-district. The north-south running canal had its mouth at the old Lopburi River opposite the mouth of Khlong Phraya Phan, leading to Wat Phraya Kong and Wat Phraya Phan. The canal was fed by the waters of Bueng Phra Ram, which in its turn was filled by the waters of the Lopburi River via the Lam Khu Pak Sra. The canal passed the fortified city wall at the Thep Mi Gate, also known as the Khao Semi Gate, a large watergate. The canal was filled up after the fall of Ayutthaya (1767 CE), and only a few traces of the waterway are left today.

(3) Khlong Mueang, or the City Canal, is a stretch of the old Lopburi River on the northern side of Ayutthaya's city island. Many people believe it is a manufactured canal. The Lopburi River descending from the north, ran in the Ayutthaya period around the city and joined the Chao Phraya River near Bang Sai (below Bang Pa-In). Khlong Mueang is a remnant from that time. Today, the canal starts at Hua Ro and has its exit at the confluence with the Chao Phraya River near Hua Laem.

(4) Sheikh Ahmad Qomi (Qummi) was born in 1543 CE in the Paeene Shahar district of Qom (Qum), Persia and holding the title sheikh, Ahmad was highly educated and qualified in the teachings of the Islamic religious scriptures. He belonged to the Twelver Sect or Imami Shi'ism.


[1] Markets and Production in the City of Ayutthaya before 1767: Translation and Analysis of Part of the Description of Ayutthaya - Chris Baker - Journal of the Siam Society, Vol. 99, 2011 - page 63.