WAT CHONG LOM (1)





Wat Chong Lom, or the Monastery of the Blowhole, is situated in the northern area of Ayutthaya in Hua Ro Sub-district on an islet north of Ko Loi (1), opposite Wat Tong Pu. The only way to access the islet is by boat. There is no walking path or road.


Ko Chong Lom was before connected to Ko Loi. Khlong Chong Lom was dug in the early 20th century to reduce the whirlpools near Wat Tong Pu and the Chantra Kasem Palace, separating Wat Chong Lom from the eastern mainland. As the Lopburi River and the canal leading to the Pa Sak River were joining near Wat Tong Pu and the erosive force of the joint waterways (including the waters coming from Khlong Hua Ro, the old Lopburi River) was destroying the embankment in front of the Chantra Kasem Palace, the idea rose to divert the Pa Sak River. The diversion was done shortly after the digging of Khlong Chong Lom. Khlong Sai, a small canal cutting through the eastern mainland from Wat Chong Lom to the present Ayutthaya Ship Building Industrial and Technology College, was widened and deepened. The Pa Sak River, instead of running through Khlong Hantra, changed its main course and ran straight from Wat Pa Kho to Wat Phanan Choeng. [1]


Wat Chong Lom is an open pavilion with five Buddha images of various sizes inside - all in the Virasana pose and the Bhumisparsha mudra (a seated Buddha image in the attitude of subduing Mara). A second pavilion can be seen close to the edge of the river. This ‘sala’ has a single Buddha image. A few old bricks are still visible within the roots of the nearby bodhi tree. A modern-day spirit house stands beside the tree.


The date of establishment and the history of this temple are unknown.


Wat Chong Lom is indicated as a ruin on a Monthon Krung Kao map of 1916 CE and shows on the Fine Arts Department maps from 1974 onward.


The remnants of Wat Chong Lom are in geographical coordinates: 14° 22' 18.23" N, 100° 34' 43.00" E.





Footnotes:


(1) Ko Loi, or Floating Island, is surrounded in the north by Khlong Chong Lom, in the east by the (new) Pa Sak River and in the west by the (new) Lopburi River.


References:


[1] Khemnad, Phayao (2010). Wat Monthop (Amphur Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya). Fine Arts Department, 3rd Region. pp. 16-7.