Wat Jao Phrap is a restored temple ruin situated in the southwestern area of Ayutthaya's city island in Pratu Chai Sub-district in a communal area called Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park. This park is part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

The ruin, situated near the mouth of Khlong Chakrai Yai and its watergate, is south of Wat Ubosot and was east of the now-defunct temples Wat Khok Madan Yai and Wat Kaeo, and west of the now-defunct Wat Pa Fuk. Wat Jao Phrap is visible from U-Thong Road.

Khlong Chakrai Yai is a still existing north-south running canal situated on the Ayutthaya city island. The canal was a shortcut in the oxbow of the old Lopburi River, with its beginning at the Pak Tho Watergate opposite Wat Choeng Tha and its mouth at the Chakrai Yai Watergate in front of Wat Phutthaisawan. The canal and its watergate were named after the Choeng Chakrai Village outside the city wall in that area. [1]

Jao Phrap stands for “Lord Conqueror”, and we can thus translate the name as the "Monastery of the Lord Conqueror". Often temples were named after their founders. The denomination here could refer to the Buddha or a member of the royal family at that time.

The temple's boundaries were delimitated with a brick wall of approximately 95 metres by 100 metres with on each side two entrance gates of which some still can be seen. On all sides were moats, except on the east side being the Chakrai Yai Canal.

Within the premises were at least two main sanctuaries. One was a complex of a large bell-shaped chedi on an octagonal base, an ordination hall (Ubosot) of 20 metres by 40 metres, and several satellite chedis, surrounded by a lower wall with lotus-shaped niches to enshrine small Buddha images or lanterns.

The foundations of the other sanctuary resemble a Thai Prasat on an elevated twelve rabbeted-angled platform, nearly identical to the one found at Wat Phra Si Sanphet and a direct descendent of the Greek-cross plan of a Khmer temple. The Prasat forms by a square central room with two projecting long wings and two short, with likely a prang and the four porch-like antechambers attached to the cell's sides.

The temple’s perimeter has some subsidiary stupas spread, of which two stand to the west of the main chedi and two others near the eastern entrance. One has a rather ghostly appearance as as a Ficus Religiosa or Bodhi tree nearly entirely covers it. The other stupa is prang-shaped with indented corners. The long and slender characteristics of this stupa with four niches were popular in the late Ayutthaya period.

The lotus-shaped niches in the wall around the ordination hall are typical of King Narai's reign (1656-1688 CE), while the Greek cross-shaped vihara looks identical to the one added by King Narai to Wat Phra Sri Sanphet. Because of these designs, I would situate this temple's construction in the second half of the 17th century (4th sub-period).

Engelbert Kaempfer, a medical doctor working for the Dutch VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie), on his visit to Ayutthaya in 1690 CE, drew a temple on his “sketch map”, south of the Khun Lok Bridge and on the west bank of Khlong Chakrai Yai. This temple's position corresponds with Wat Ubosot because to its west Kaempfer indicates another temple, which must logically be Wat Kaeo. South of this temple (i.e. Wat Ubosot), Kaempfer draws only trees. The case being, Wat Jao Phrap could have been maybe constructed after 1690 CE. [2]

Wat Jao Phrap is indicated on a 19th century map in the same location as Phraya Boran Rachathanin's 1926 CE map.

South-east of the outer wall of Wat Jao Phrap, on the west bank of Khlong Chakrai Yai, we find the brick foundations of a tin depository (Khlang Dibuk).

The site is in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 30.46" N, 100° 33' 20.29" E.


[1] Baker, Chris (2011). Before Ayutthaya Fell: Economic Life in an Industrious Society. Markets and Production in the City of Ayutthaya before 1767: Translation and Analysis of Part of the Description of Ayutthaya. Journal of the Siam Society, Vol. 99.

[2] Kaempfer, Engelbert. Werke 4. Kritische Ausgabe in Einzelbänden. Herausgegeben von Detlef Haberland, Wolfgang Michel, Elisabeth Gössmann. Engelbert Kaempfer in Siam. Iudicum Verlag GmbH München 2003. edited by Barend Jan Terwiel.