WAT PA NAI





Wat Pa Nai, or the Monastery of the Cotton Wheel Quarter, is a defunct monastery located on Ayutthaya's city island outside the Historical Park in Pratu Chai Sub-district. The temple stood on the premises of the Chao Sam Phraya Museum, North of Rojana Road.


There are no visual traces of the monastery left at ground level.


Its historical background and period of construction are not known.


The old documents mention that in this area, mainly on the road in front of the Phra Kan Shrine, shops were selling heads and skeletons of spinning wheels for cotton. [1]


Wat Pa Nai on the maps:


A 19th-century map by an unknown surveyor shows Wat Pa Nai south of Saphan Nak Road (Pa Thon Road) and between the Pratu Thep Mi Canal (1) and the Chakrai Noi Canal (2). Wat Saphan Nak stood north opposite the Saphan Nak Road while Wat Dawadung was southeast. The map indicates the existence of a stupa.


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. PBR indicated this monastery in a marshy area formed by the confluence of Khlong Chakrai Noi and a connecting canal running towards Khlong Pratu Thep Mi, south of the Saphan Nak Road. Wat Dawadung stood northeast, Wat Jingjok southeast, the Phra Kan shrine west and the city drum tower northwest.


Wat Pa Nai was in approximative geographic coordinates: 14° 21' 6.66" N, 100° 33' 42.65" E.


Footnotes:


(1) Khlong Pratu Thep Mi was situated on Ayutthaya's city island outside the Historical Park in Pratu Chai sub-district. The north-south running canal had its mouth at the old Lopburi River opposite the mouth of Khlong Phraya Phan, leading to Wat Phraya Kong and Wat Phraya Phan. The canal was fed by the waters of Bueng Phra Ram, which in its turn was filled by the waters of the Lopburi River via the Lam Khu Pak Sra. The canal passed the fortified city wall at the Thep Mi Gate, also known as the Khao Semi Gate, a large watergate. The canal has been filled up after the fall of Ayutthaya (1767 CE), and only a few traces of the waterway are left today.

(2) Khlong Chakrai Noi is a defunct canal of which some small stretches remain on the premises of the Rajaphat Institute, south of Rojana Road. The premises of the Sam Chao Phraya Museum also show a stretch of water, but here the old canal has been probably altered. Khlong Chakrai Noi had its mouth in the loop of the old Lopburi River around the city, a stretch that became the Chao Phraya River in the 19th century due to deviation works.


References:


[1] Baker, Chris (2011). Before Ayutthaya Fell: Economic Life in an Industrious Society. 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.