Wat Nok is a restored temple ruin located within the Ayutthaya Historical Park in the Pratu Chai Subdistrict. We can find it on the southwestern corner of Wat Maha That.

Wat Nok was a monastery built in the Ayutthaya period before 1574 CE and deserted at the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 CE. The sanctuary classically aligns on an east/west axis. In situ are the remains of a vihara (preaching hall) and a prang.

The vihara stood on an elevated brick platform. The foundations and parts of the north and south walls remain, all renovated. Broken pieces of Buddha images lay on the altar position.

The prang has a projected mandapa with an entry to the east. A minor prang decorates the roof of the mandapa. The base of the prang has multiple redented corners.

Above the base are three niches in the other cardinal directions containing a standing Buddha image. A staircase in the mandapa reaches the cella. The octagonal cella likely housed a Buddha image, but at present only bats reside. Some well-preserved stucco is still visible on the prang. The architecture of the prang is suggestive of the late Ayutthaya period.


Much of the history of Wat Nok is unknown. In the late Ayutthaya period, there were shops of Thai and Mon selling bowls, trays, salvers and all kinds of brassware behind Wat Nok and in front of Wat Phong. In the area, there was also a fresh market called the Mon Market. Mon people lived thus in the vicinity of Wat Nok and Wat Phong. [1]

The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya mention that a group of Mon settled at Wat Nok. In 1584 CE, the King of Hongsa, Nanda Bayin (reign 1581-1587 CE) and the ruler of Ava, his suzerain, had differences. Bayin, fearing Prince Naresuan, the ruler of Phitsanulok, wanted to make away with him. Using the feud with Ava, he requested the help of Naresuan in defeating Ava. Naresuan left Phitsanulok for Khraeng (1) over Chiang Thong. Arriving at the Mon City of Khraeng, he encamped his troops near the monastery of the Maha Thera Khan Chòng. King Bayin instructed Phraya Kiat and Phraya Ram to make a flanking attack on Naresuan's troops from the rear as they went up to Ava and had to make sure that King Naresuan was seized and executed. They informed Maha Thera Khan Chong of their instructions. Maha Thera Khan Chong advised on his turn Prince Naresuan of Bayin's plans. Naresuan withdrew over Kan Buri, taking the important monk and the two army leaders with their army and families to Ayutthaya. King Maha Thammaracha of Ayutthaya installed Maha Thera Khan Chong as the new Patriarch of Wat Maha That and his relatives at the village behind Wat Nok (1). Phraya Kiat and Phraya Phra Ram were to reside in the vicinity of Khamin Village near the Khun Saen Monastery with all the Mon families who had followed them.

When the Royal Father and King Naresuan had finished making their plans [BCEF: together], the King was pleased to have the great holy Thera Khan Chòng located at Phra Maha That Monastery [F: as His Holiness Ariyawong, abbot of the Village Dwelling Sect residing at Phra Si Rattana Maha That Warawihan Royal Monastery,] and [BCDE: bestowed on him] [F: presented him with] a sappathon umbrella, a kanching umbrella, a palanquin, bearers, rice, an annual bounty, and the various eight requisites of a Buddhist monk. [F: Now, the King was pleased to have the position of His Holiness Wannarat, the original Patriarch of the Village Dwelling Sect, administer only the Assembly of the South as the Division of the Right the separation of the Village Dwelling Sect into two assemblies originated at that time and has continued right down to the present.] On Phraya Kiat and Phraya Phra Ram the King bestowed gold trays of rank, gold lotus water-goblets, swords inlaid with gold, silver coins, clothing, and utensils and comestibles in great amounts. The Mon families which had been transported on down were also granted to Phraya Kiat and Phraya Phra Ram to supervise and administer. Then Phraya Kiat and Phraya Phra Ram were directed to reside in the vicinity of Khamin Village and Khun Sæn Monastery. The relatives of the great holy Thera Khan Chòng were directed to live n the vicinity of a village behind Nok Monastery. [2]

The restored ruin of Wat Nok is in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 22.01" N, 100° 34' 0.13" E.


(1) King Maha Thammaracha (reign 1569-1590) had the City Dwelling Sect (Mahā Nikāya) split up into two assemblies being, a Division of the Left and a Division of the Right. Maha Thera Khan Chong became the patriarch of the Division of the Left with the seat at Wat Maha That. The initial patriarch of the City Dwelling Sect, Wannarat, became the patriarch of the Division of the Right, I presume likely at Wat Doem (present Wat Ayodhya). There were thus, at the end of the 16th century, two Supreme Patriarchs, not taking into account the forest-dwelling sect.


[1] Baker, Chris (2011) - Markets and Production in the City of Ayutthaya before 1767: Translation and Analysis of Part of the Description of Ayutthaya - Journal of the Siam Society, Vol. 99 - page 65.

[2] Cushman, Richard D. (2006) - The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya - page 90 / Source: Phan Canthanumat, British Museum, Reverend Phonnarat, Phra Cakkraphatdiphong & Royal Autograph - Naresuan and Hongsawadi Fight, and Naresuan Returns to Ayutthaya.


Reference: Krom Sinlapakorn (1968), Phra Rachawang lae Wat Boran nai Jangwat Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya (Fine Arts Department).

No 1: A vihara built in the Ayutthaya period with brick and mortar facing east. The building stands 8.40 metres from the wall of Wat Maha That. The vihara is 10.20 metres wide and 23.20 metres long. There is one front door measuring 1 meter wide, one side door on the north side 1 meter wide, and the same on the south side. Inside the vihara, there are two rows of round brick pillars, each 50 cm in diameter. At the back of the vihara, there is a large base to enshrine a Buddha image, 6.60 metres wide. There is a brick base of 8 metres long on each side and 1.20 metres wide that houses 3 Buddha images on each side. Only the foundation remains.

No 2: A Prang built in the Ayutthaya period, made of bricks and cemented and situated on the west side of the temple about 4 metres away from the vihara. The stupa is around 6 metres in diameter, with a porch in the front extending 2 meters wide. The prang is damaged, broken, and the remaining part is about 3 meters high.


The ruin of Wat Nok in 1944 CE

Reference: Williams-Hunt Aerial Photos Collection. Original from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Digital Data from Center for Southeast Asia Studies (CSEAS), Kyoto University. Digital Archive from Chulachomklao Royal Military Academy (CRMA), Thailand