Wat Chedi Kao, or the Monastery of the Old Chedi, is situated off Ayutthaya's city island in the northern area, in the Suan Phrik Sub-district. The monastery was located on the west bank of Khlong Nam Ya (1), north of Wat Nak and west of Wat Borommawong, in an area called Thamle Ya (2), just south of the Pho Sam Ton Fields (3).

Wat Chedi Kao was built on a mound standing in the rice fields. The site is filled with broken bricks and shattered holes dug by treasure hunters. A Buddha statue, orientated in a northeastern direction, sits on top of the mound. Near the pedestal of the Buddha are some remains of broken Buddha images.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown.

The monastery does not feature on any of the old maps.

The site is in geographical coordinates: 14° 22' 53.10" N, 100° 33' 51.38" E.

The story behind

I first got a hint of the existence of a monastery called Wat Chedi Kao in the vicinity of Wat Nak when visiting Wat Ngiu in the Khlong Sra Bua Sub-district in May 2011 CE. I checked Google maps and pinpointed a possible location for this mysterious site. I went to the vicinity of Wat Nak to search for more indications, but nobody had a clue about its existence. In June of the same year, I went to the Fine Arts Department (FAD) to query, but there was no information in their logs regarding the temple. In August, I tried to access the area from behind Wat Borommawong but failed as it was too swampy. Shortly before the Great Flood in 2011 CE, during one of my reconnaissance trips north of Ayutthaya, the name of Wat Chedi Kao was mentioned again. In August 2012 CE, I visited the FAD, and on indicating the possible location on a map, I was told that the area North had never been excavated. In 2013 CE, I still got the site marked with a white pin, indicating the site was not yet confirmed. Taking profit of the hot season, I finally made my way into the area in April 2013 CE. The place was indeed the location of an old monastery and clearly visible in the fields as most of the vegetation had been cleared recently.


(1) Khlong Nam Ya is situated off the city island in the northern area, in the Suan Phrik Sub-district, an area formerly called 'Thamle Ya' or the 'grass locality'. The canal is situated north of Wat Borommawong and connects the monastery with the present new Lopburi River. On the map of the Ayutthaya City Administration, we read Khlong Satharana (คลองสาธารณ) or public canal. The waterway is also sometimes referred to as Khlong Borommawong. There are indications on the aerial map that this canal was once connected to the old Lopburi River, as confirmed by the abbot of Wat Borommawong, who added that people in former times used the canal to go to Hua Ro on the northeastern corner of the city.
(2) The area where Wat Borommowong stood was called in earlier times 'Thamle Ya' or the 'grass locality', as the whole place was a large grass field. The local population called the area 'Thale Ya' or the 'Sea of Grass'. The grass, I presume, was used as elephant fodder, seen the vicinity of the Elephant Kraal.
(3) Thung Pho Sam Ton, or the Field of the Three Fig Trees, was an area north of the city of Ayutthaya bordered in the west by Khlong Bang Phaeng, a stretch of the defunct Bang Kaeo River in the north by Khlong Thon above Wat Muang in the east by Khlong Ban Muang, a stretch of the old Lopburi River and in the south by Khlong Chang, also a stretch of a loop of the old Lopburi River. Whether or not the area between the old and the new Lopburi River, an extension of Thung Phaniat north of Khlong Chang, should be included, I am not quite sure, but I added it for the record. The whole area is lowland and prone to flooding.