Wat Khok Rak, or the Monastery of the Mound of Crown Flower, (1) was located on Ayutthaya's city island in Pratu Chai Sub-district. The temple is defunct.

The monastery was situated between Wat Khok Muang and Khlong Makham Riang (2). In the north lie Wat Salak (defunct), while in the south stood Wat Kraji and Wat Saphan Ngoen (defunct).

There are no traces anymore visible of the monastery above ground level.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown.

The monastery was situated along a road the French called "Rue des Maures" or "Moor Street", which is now more or less the present Pa Thon Rd (more or less as the ancient road did not have the width of the current lane and its direction (angle) was also probably not the same) and stood east of Wat Sao Ching Cha (defunct). Wat Kraji was located southeast.

Wat Rak on the maps:

Wat Khok Rak shows on a 19th-century map. The monastery stood here south of Wat Pa Kup and the Pa Thon Road. Wat Kraji was northeast, Wat Sao Ching Cha west and Wat Khok Suea northwest. The map indicates the existence of a prang.

The site is indicated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's (PBR) map drafted in 1926 CE. Phraya Boran (1871-1936 CE) was the Superintendent Commissioner of Monthon Ayutthaya from 1925 till 1929 CE but occupied important functions since 1896 CE in Monthon Ayutthaya. The monastery was situated central between Khlong Pratu Khao Pluak and Khlong Makham Riang and pressed between Wat Khok Muang and Wat Kraji, both monasteries having still brickwork in situ.

Using an overlay, we find that Wat Khok Rak on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map coincides with the location of Wat Pet on the 19th-century map.

Assessing all the monastic structures in the zone demarcated by Chikun Road, Pa Thon Road, Pridi Banomyong Road and U-Thong Road is rather complex, as the position and name of the structures vary on different maps. On a 19th-century map, there are 15 structures counted, while on the 20th-century PBR map, there are 13 mentioned. There is inconsistency in the names and the positions. Even maps drafted by the Fine Arts Department, what I presume, based on excavations in the zone, shed no light on this matter. The positions of monastic structures can be asserted, but their ancient names will remain questioned forever.

Based on a 2007 Fine Arts Department map, Wat Khok Rak was located in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 22.30" N, 100° 34' 23.67" E.


(1) The monastery was likely called after the Crown flower, a flower called in Thailand "Dok Rak". Crown flower or Calotropis Gigantea is a species of Calotropis native to Thailand. It is a large shrub growing to 4 m tall. It has clusters of waxy flowers that are either white or lavender in colour. Each flower consists of five pointed petals and a small, elegant "crown" rising from the centre, which holds the stamens. The plant has oval, light green leaves and a milky stem. The latex of Calotropis Gigantea contains cardio glycosides, volatile fatty acids and calcium oxalate. The flowers last long and are used in Thailand for various floral arrangements. Calotropis is also a plant used in traditional medicine.

(2) Khlong Makham Riang, or the Canal of the aligned Tamarind Trees, was before called Khlong Nai Kai. It is a still existent canal situated east on Ayutthaya's city island. The canal was a shortcut in the oxbow of the old Lopburi River. It has today its origin at Khlong Ho Ratana Chai below Wat Senasanaram and the Front Palace, and its mouth at the present Chao Phraya River, west of Phet Fortress. At the mouth was one of the eleven water gates of Ayutthaya called Pratu Nai Kai. The southern exit, which has today a water regulator, has been altered. The original mouth of the canal was about 170 metres more south, close to Pom Phet. Khlong Makham Riang is one of the three large canals running north to south, of which two still are in existence.