Wat Khok Phrayaram, or the Monastery of the Mound of the Nobles (1), is a restored ruin located off the city island in the northern area, in the Phukhao Thong Plains, 2 Km north of Ayutthaya in the Phukhao Thong Sub-district. Wat Phukhao Thong and the Naresuan Memorial Park lie in their immediate vicinity.

In situ are the foundations of multiple monastic structures such as the main chedi, an ordination hall and a vihara. The ordination hall can easily be observed.

Historians thought initially that this site was the location where several Ayutthaya royals were executed based on the old documents, but excavations in situ excluded this thesis. The important historical site where these executions occurred is Wat Khok Phraya, located in the vicinity of Wat Na Phra Men and Wat Hatsadawat on the north bank of the old Lopburi River.

Probably to make a distinction between the two similar named sites, the ruin in the Phukhao Thong Fields has got added "Aram" to its name, a comparative and superlative form in Sanskrit Wat Khok Phrayaram meaning thus the "Greater Monastery of the Mound of the Nobles".

We find in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya the name of Wat Khok Phrayaram mentioned. The Burmese under King Tabinshwehti (reign 1516-1550 CE), the founder of the second Burmese Empire or the Toungoo Empire, invaded Siam in 1549 CE via the Three Pagodas Pass (Chedi Sam Ong) and Kanburi (in Lat Ya Sub-district of Kanchanaburi). The Burmese army arrived north of Ayutthaya and put its stockades up in the Lum Phli Plains. Khok Phrayaram was where King Chakkraphat (reign 1548-1569 CE) set up his army formations to engage the Burmese in battle. In the fight that ensued, Queen Suriyothai was killed by the King of Prae when trying to help out her husband when the latter's elephant lost its position in combat.

"At a time of the lunar day of great auspiciousness, the Reverend Astrologer struck a victory gong, the conch shell trumpets resounded, the drums of Indra throbbed, and King Cakkraphat set forth with the royal elephant. The Chief Queen and both of the Princes followed in the retinue of the King. The elephant guards, crowding around and supporting the troop of elephants as they moved, advanced in the lead. There were soldiers riding at their posts on the elephants’ necks and carrying guns and long-handled elephant hooks in their hands, and mahouts at their posts on the rear of each animal. Each elephant was hemmed in on all sides by lines of guards. Then, following the procession of the war elephant guards, came the companies of brave foot soldiers, carrying swords, shields, bucklers, javelins, great spears, paired spears, banners, tasseled lances, bows, and firearms, and crowded together to the right and the left, front and behind. The sound of the marching soldiers and elephants shook the earth as though it would collapse. King Cakkraphat, halting his royal elephant, collected his soldiers and elephant troops and set up positions in formation at Khok Phraya." [1]

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown. The site is not indicated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 CE. Phraya Boran (1871-1936 CE) was the Superintendent Commissioner of Monthon Ayutthaya from 1925 to 1929 CE but occupied important functions since 1896 CE in Monthon Ayutthaya.

Wat Khok Phrayaram is in geographical coordinates: 14° 22' 23.16" N, 100° 32' 24.79" E.


(1) In the Siamese French English Dictionary from Pallegoix, we find the Thai word "Phraya", translated as "king, mandarin". I translated the word "Phraya" as "nobles".


[1] Cushman, Richard D. & Wyatt, David K. (2006). The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. Bangkok: The Siam Society. p. 33.

[2] Siamese French English Dictionary by D.J.B. Pallegoix Bishop of Mallos. Vicar apostolic of Siam - revised by J.L. Vey Bishop of Geraza, Vicar apostolic of Siam - printing office of the Catholic Mission Bangkok (1896). p. 712.