WAT CHANA MAN





Wat Chana Man, or the Monastery of Victory over Mara, was situated on the city island in the Ayutthaya Historical Park in the Pratu Chai Sub-district.

On Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 CE, the temple was located near the confluence of Khlong Chakrai Yai (1) and Khlong Pa Mo (2). Khlong Pa Mo connected Khlong Chakrai Yai and Khlong Chakrai Noi (3). Wat Chana Man stood thus on the east bank of Khlong Chakrai Yai and the north bank of Khlong Pa Mo.

On its north stood Wat Rak (defunct) opposite Khlong Chakrai Yai was Wat Pi Rai (4) and on its east was Wat Thong (pavilion with a Buddha image).

In my opinion, this temple shows under the name Wat Som Yai on the 19th-century map. Reading this map, Wat Som Yai stood south of Wat Rak and northeast of Wat Pa Phrai. To the south was Wat Som Noi. The monastery stood along the east bank of Khlong Chakrai Yai and at the confluence with Khlong Tha Phra. On the opposite side of Khlong Chakrai Yai and the southern bank of Khlong Tha Phra stood Wat Pi Rai, while on the northern bank was Wat Salak. The 19th-century map indicates the presence of a chedi. Taking as reference point Khlong Tha Phra on both maps, the location of Wat Som Yai is denominated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map as Wat Chana Man.

Wat Chana Man does not show on Engelbert Kaempfer’s sketch drawn in June 1690 CE, although the medical doctor of the VOC wrote that the road running north of Khlong Pa Mo was obscure.

There are no traces of ground-level foundations or brickwork, and I classified the temple as defunct.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction is unknown.

The site must have been approximately in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 52.69" N, 100° 33' 25.69" E.

Footnotes:

(1) Khlong Chakrai Yai is part of a waterway running through the west of Ayutthaya from north to south. The canal was the extension of Khlong Pak Tho and ran from the Lam Hoei Bridge to the Chakrai Yai Gate opposite Wat Phutthaisawan. The canal was a shortcut through the oxbow of the Lopburi River and connected the old Lopburi River, present Khlong Mueang in the north with - what is today - the Chao Phraya River in the south. Ban Chakrai was a village located on the city island but outside the city walls.

(2) Khlong Pa Mo, or the Pot Quarter Canal, is a defunct canal. It was an eastward extension of Khlong Tha Phra and started at the latter's confluence with Khlong Chakrai Yai. Beyond this confluence, it continued in an eastern direction as Khlong Pa Mo and joined the Pratu Thep Mi Canal. There is evidence that this canal continued eastwards in a straight line to join Khlong Makham Riang.

(3) Khlong Chakrai Noi is a defunct canal of which some small stretches remain on the premises of the Rajaphat Institute, south of Rojana Road. The premises of the Sam Chao Phraya Museum also show a stretch of water, but here the old canal has been probably altered. Khlong Chakrai Noi had its mouth in the loop of the old Lopburi River around the city, a stretch that became the Chao Phraya River in the 19th century due to deviation works.

(4) Defunct. It should be noted that Phraya Boran Rachathanin positioned Wat Yi Rai (Wat Pi Rai) on the northern bank of Khlong Tha Phra.