Wat Kuti Thong is an active temple on the northern bank of Khlong Mueang (1) in the Tha Wasukri Sub-district of Ayutthaya. The monastery is split into two parts by a road that runs. The modern part is near the canal bank and has the sangkhawat area, while the phutthawat area is on the north side of the road, containing the ordination hall and the ruined ancient chedis. Khlong Pha Lai (2) ran about 50 metres west and north of the temple. Wat Kuti Thong was aligned north-south towards the old Lopburi River.

The phutthawat area is enclosed by an outer brick wall with arched entrance gates, of which one is still visible in the front next to the road. The ordination hall and the chedi foundations are elevated on what is presumed a former mound. The latter could hide the remains of earlier construction. Some burial memorials are east of the sermon hall, including small chedis that appear to be from the Ayutthaya era.

Behind the ordination hall are two large bell-shaped chedis, of which one is still in good condition. It still has much of its stucco and most of the harmika and spire intact. The second chedi has suffered more significant damage and collapsed from the upper relic chamber.


A board in situ states the ‘Tamnan’ (3) mentions that the temple dates back to the Mueang Lavo (Lopburi) or pre-Ayutthaya period. In the Northern Chronicles is written that Phra Jao Sinthob Amarin constructed Wat Kuti Thong while his queen Phra Nang Kanya Thewi built Wat Khongkha Wihan in around 1057 CE. However, from archaeological evidence, the monastery dates back to the early or middle Ayutthaya period (14th-16th CE) and was restored in the late Ayutthaya period (18th-19th CE). [1]

After the first fall of Ayutthaya in 1569 CE, virtually defenceless now, Ayutthaya was at the mercy of its neighbours. The Cambodians repeatedly took advantage of this situation. They invaded Siam six times in the next two decades (1570, 1575, 1578, 1582 twice, and 1587 CE), each time sweeping up war captives from the prosperous eastern and gulf provinces from Chanthaburi to Phetchaburi to populate their territory. Siam dealt with these raids only with great difficulty, given their scarce labour resources, arms, and draft animals. [2]

Wat Kuti Thong is mentioned in relation to the first war with Lawaek (Cambodia) in 1570 CE. Cambodian troops advanced to the Siamese capital and established an enclosure at Wat Sam Wihan. They spread out at intervals along the old Lopburi River (Khlong Muang) at Wat Wong Khong Monastery and Kuti Thong monastery. In addition, thirty elephants and 4-5 thousand Khmer troops were halted at Wat Na Phra Men. Luckily, Siamese troops were able to force their opponents to retreat. They fired cannons directly at Khmer soldiers barricaded behind the walls of Wat Sam Wihan. The Lawaek commander, Phra Campathirat, was killed while still perched on his elephant's neck. The invading army renewed their attack a few times but finally withdrew via Nakhon Nayok.

"Meanwhile, the King of Lawæk advanced with his army to the Capital and Royal Metropolis of Ayutthaya and encamped] in the vicinity of Kathum Village. At that moment the King ordered Müang Nakhòn Phrom and the three thousand troops of the men of Hongsawadi to man the positions on the front wall, and all the high-ranking officials of the provincial cities to examine and post soldiers to the positions on the walls and at intervals around the Royal Metropolis. The King of Lawæk advanced with his army and halted his elephant in Sam Phihan Monastery. And the enemy troops were posted at intervals to Rong Khòng Monastery and Kuti Thòng Monastery. Then they brought about thirty elephants and halted them in Na Phra Meru Rachikaram Monastery with about four thousand men. The King of Lawæk had soldiers board five boats and cross the river to attack Prince Sanuk’s corner of the wall. The King proceeded there and, halting his palanquin, sent his soldiers up to fight. The enemy being vanquished, the King then ordered a carong cannon fired on the enemy elephants which were standing in Sam Phihan Monastery. Phra Campathirat, who was the commander of the vanguard of the King of Lawæk, was hit and killed on the neck of his elephant. The King of Lawæk withdrew and returned to his army at Kathum Village. Three times they advanced to attack in that way but were unsuccessful. So the King of Lawæk, ending the campaign and returning with his army, swept up the families in the vicinity of the villages in the paddy fields and in Nakhòn Nayok and took them to Lawæk. At that time the King of Lawæk repeatedly organized troops to scout about, both by land and by boat, and the inhabitants of Canthabun, the inhabitants of Rayòng, the inhabitants of Chachoengsao and farmers were speedily lost to the Lawæk enemy in great numbers." [3]

In the manuscript "Testimony of the king from Wat Pradu Songtham", a document likely compiled in the early Rattanakosin period, it is written that there was a land market beside the Howdah Workshop Village (Ban Rong Kup) in front of Wat Kuti Thong. (4) [4]

Wat Kuti Thong on the maps

Wat Kuti Thong shows on a 19th-century map by an unknown surveyor. The temple stands on the north bank of the Lopburi River. Wat Mai is west. The Sala Wen landing (5) is situated between the two temples on the river bank.

We find the monastery similarly positioned on Phraya Boran Rachathanin’s map of 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.

Wat Kuti Thong shows on all Fine Arts Department maps. The monastery was registered as a National Historical Site and announced in the Royal Gazette Volume 112, Section 59, on 25 July 1995 CE by the Fine Arts Department.

The site is in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 44.91" N, 100° 33' 41.93" E.


(1) Khlong Mueang, or the City Canal, is a stretch of the old Lopburi River on the northern side of Ayutthaya's city island. Many people believe it is a manufactured canal. The Lopburi River descending from the north, ran in the Ayutthaya period around the city and joined the Chao Phraya River near Bang Sai (below Bang Pa-In). Khlong Mueang is a remnant from that time. Today, the canal starts at Hua Ro and has its exit at the confluence with the Chao Phraya River near Hua Laem.

(2) Khlong Pha Lai, or the Canal of the Patterned Cloth, was a canal situated off the city island in the northern area running partly in present Tha Wasukri and Khlong Sra Bua sub-districts. The canal is defunct, but there are still some stretches existing from this canal. Most of the waterway, though, has been filled up. Khlong Pha Lai was a loop of the Sra Bua Canal and had its mouth west of Wat Mai and ran adjacent to Khlong Sra Bua into the old Lopburi River, a stretch of water called today Khlong Mueang.

(3) Tamnan is a term frequently used for documents dealing with the history of Buddhism or particular Buddhist monuments. It came into existence well before the 15th century, and though it began to decline in the 17th century, its influence lasted until the 18th century. Tamnan histories begin at the point when the Gautama Buddha made a vow to reach enlightenment. [Reference: Kasetsiri, Charnvit (1976). The Rise of Ayudhya. Oxford University Press. London.]

(4) A howdah is a transport platform fitted with a railing and sometimes a canopy positioned on the back of an elephant. The platform was used to carry people and goods or in hunting and warfare. The elephant carriage was also a symbol of wealth and, as a result, often decorated with precious metals and gems.

(5) This boat landing was near the Sala Trawen or Patrol Pavilion, the middle one of three guard posts to watch the river by the Grand Palace. The landing connected with the Kan Landing, also called Tha Khun Nang or Tha Khoi. It was a regular night-and-day ferry for the officials from the Grand Palace. [5]


[1] Information board in situ - January 2020.

[2] Wyatt, David K. (2003). Thailand, A short history (2nd Ed.). Silkworm Books.

[3] Cushman, Richard D. & Wyatt, David K. (2006). The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. Bangkok: The Siam Society. p. 77.

[4] Pongsripian, Vinai, Dr. (2007). Phanna phumisathan Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya: Ekasan jak Ho Luang. Geographical description of Ayutthaya: Documents from the palace. Bangkok: Usakane.

[5] Baker, Chris (2014). Final Part of the Description of Ayutthaya with Remarks on Defense, Policing, Infrastructure, and Sacred Sites. Journal of the Siam Society, Vol. 102.]