WAT JAN PRATHET





Wat Jan Prathet is an active monastery situated off the city island in the northwestern area of Ayutthaya, in the Ban Mai Sub-district, Mu 6. The temple is located on the east bank of the Chao Phraya River in the vicinity of Wat Bamrung Tham and the north bank of a canal with its mouth at the Chao Phraya River.


In situ is a classic monastic complex build. A beautifully decorated entry gate leads into the temple grounds. The monastic buildings are all aligned in a northeast-southwest alignment.


The ordination hall facing the canal has two elevated porches with two entries in the front and the back. The hall is 22 metres long by 8 metres wide. The ubosot houses a 20-inch copper Buddha image in the Bhumisparsha mudra gesture dating back to the Ayutthaya period. The roof is three-tiered, with five rectangular windows on the longest sides. The hall is surrounded by a wall of 24 metres by 8 metres, separating the monastic world from the secular world.


The Sala Kan Parian, or sermon hall, where monks can instruct laypeople in the Buddhist doctrine, is 21 metres long and 13 metres wide.





On the premises is a beautiful example of a classic ‘Ho Trai’ or library building. The building stands on stilts, three meters above a pond, to protect the precious scriptures - traditionally written on palm leaves - from insects. The Ho Trai has a two-tiered roof and is surrounded by a gallery to keep the rain out. It has two entry doors in the front and the back and three windows on the longest sides.

The temple was established around 1837 CE by a Lao community descending from Vientiane during the reign of King Rama III (reign 1824-1851 CE). In 1829 CE, Siam destroyed all the buildings in the environs of Vientiane and removed the population for resettlement in Lopburi, Saraburi, Suphanburi and Nakhon Chaisi provinces (1). The community that built this temple likely belonged to this group of forced resettlers.

Wat Jan Prathet is in geographical coordinates: 14° 23' 39.13" N, 100° 31' 8.23" E.

Footnotes:

(1) In January 1827 CE, Laos under Chao Anu invaded Siam, and the Lao army swept through the Korat plateau, intending to take Bangkok. The Laotians were halted south of Saraburi. The Siamese army marched up, defeated the Lao army at Nong Bua Lamphu and occupied Vientiane until February 1828 CE, leaving behind a small garrison. Rama III wanted Vientiane destroyed. In August, Anu recaptured Vientiane. Siam reacted immediately. Anu was beaten in October and detained. Vientiane and its surroundings were flattened, except for the Buddhist temples and the population removed for resettlement. [1]

References:

[1] Wyatt, David K. (2003). Thailand, A Short History. p. 155.