Wat Klang Pak Kran, or the Monastery in the Middle of Pak Kran, is an active temple located off the city island in the southern area of Ayutthaya in the Pak Kran Sub-district (1).

The monastery, also known as Wat Klang Khlong Takhian, is situated at the confluence of the Chao Phraya River and Khlong Takhian (2), on the west bank of the latter at its mouth. The St Joseph Church and the ancient Cochin Chinese Settlement lie just opposite the other bank of the canal. The old Wat Klang is situated to its west, opposite the road. Wat Nak lies just south of Wat Klang. Opposite the Chao Phraya River is Wat Wang Chai.

In situ, we find the classic monastic structures. The monastery is quite large but dates from the post-Ayutthayan period. The ordination hall was built in the late Ayutthaya style (1629-1767 CE). The hall has two elevated porches with each two entries, and four columns support the two-tiered roof. The longest walls of ubosot have five windows each. The hall is surrounded by an inner wall demarcating the sacred area.

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, which could suggest that this monastery was constructed after 1926 CE as a substitute for the old Wat Klang.

Based on the Temple Registration System of the National Office of Buddhism, Wat Klang Pak Kran was established in 1887 CE in the Rattanakosin period and received its Wisung Kham Sima in 1898 CE. It is thus a post-Ayutthaya-era monastery.

Near Wat Klang and Wat Nak was one of the six former ferry crossings across the Chao Phraya River, linking the monasteries with Tha Wang Chai (Wang Chai landing). (3) [1]

Wat Klang Khlong Takhian is in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 16.1" N 100° 32' 51.3" E.

(View of the old ordination hall of Wat Klang Pak Kran - 2008 CE)


(1) Thung Pak Kran is difficult to define as the sub-district of Pak Kran, in my opinion, does not correspond with its old boundaries. Thung Pak Kran was an area southwest of the city of Ayutthaya bordered more or less on the north by Khlong Klaep leading to Wat Suren, on the east by the Lopburi River (Chao Phraya River), on the south partly by Khlong and Khlong Takhian. Several canals cut through the area. North of Thung Pak Kran was Thung Prachet (Worachet).

(2) Khlong Takhian is a still existing canal south of Ayutthaya's city island, running mainly through Pak Kran and Khlong Takhian sub-districts. The canal is named after the Malabar Ironwood, a tree often used for making boats and ship masts. The canal originates at the Chao Phraya River near the St Joseph Church in the former Cochin Chinese Settlement. It has its mouth further south, back in the Chao Phraya River, below the former Portuguese settlement and opposite the northern tip of Rian Island (Ko Rian). The canal was a man-made shortcut or 'Khlong lat' between two stretches of the old Lopburi River at a time the waterway was surrounding Ayutthaya, used by boats to avoid the heavy current of the river and the turbulent waters near the Bang Kraja confluence. Takhian is likely a corruption of the name of a former village called Ban Tha Khia near the mouth of the canal. The canal is also known as Khu Lakhon Chai. A floating market was held at the mouth of this canal.

(3) In the late Ayutthaya period, twenty-two ferry routes were between the mainland and the city island. The southern area had six crossings: Hua Sarapha to Wat Phanan Choeng, Tha Hoi to Wat Pa Jak, Tha Phra Rachawangsan to Wat Khun Phrom, Tha Dan Chi to Wat Surintharam, Tha Chakrai Noi to Wat Tha Rap and Tha Wang Chai to Wat Nak. [1]


[1] Ratchathanin, Phraya Boran. Athibai Phaenthi Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya kap khamwinitjai khong Phraya Boran Racha Thanin. Explanation of the map of the Capital of Ayutthaya with a ruling of Phraya Boran Ratchathanin - Revised 2nd edition and Geography of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Ton Chabab print office. Nonthaburi (2007). p. 91.

[2] Charnvit Kasetsiri & Michael Wright (2007). Discovering Ayutthaya. Toyota Thailand Foundation. p. 272.