WAT KHON





Wat Khon. or the Monastery of the Masked Play, is located in the southwestern part of Ayutthaya's city island in the Pratu Chai Sub-district, northwest of the Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park. The site is part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park.


The monastery is named after the "Khon", a type of Thai drama a mask play drawn from the Ramakien (Ramayana).

On a 19th-century map, this location is denominated as Wat Lanthom Yai (1). This old map indicates Wat Khon south of Wat Cho, even below Wat Maha Saman. Wat Lanthom Yai and Wat Khon are different sites.

Phraya Boran Rachathanin (PBR) positions Wat Khon on his 1926 CE Ayutthaya map, east of Wat Cho on the south bank of Khlong Tha Phra.

A 2007 CE Fine Arts Department (FAD) map based on excavations indicates Wat Khon (but with the name Wat Jon) in a similar position as PBR.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction is unknown.

The site was in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 44.48" N, 100° 32' 49.74" E.

We can conclude that based on the 19th-century map that there must be another temple site in that area called Wat Khon and which later was renamed Wat Sakae or simply a hitherto unexcavated temple.

The initial denomination pre-PBR was Wat Lanthom Yai, and PBR altered its name more than 50 years later into Wat Khon for a reason unknown.

On the 1993 CE Fine Arts Department [FAD] map, we find the location mentioned as Wat Jon. The exact denomination is repeated on the 2007 CE FAD GIS map. I presume this must be a writing and copy mistake.

Footnotes:

(1) ลั่นทม = Frangipani, Nosegay or Pagoda Tree. Scientific name: Plumeria Rubra. Wat Lanthom Yai = the Large Monastery of the Frangipani Tree.