Wat Phrom Niwat, or the Monastery of the Abode of Brahma, is an active monastery off the city island in the northern area of Ayutthaya in the Tha Wasukri Sub-district. It is situated on the north bank of Khlong Mueang (1). Wat Phanom Yong and Wat Sala Pun are in its vicinity.

The temple was initially known as Wat Khun Yuan, referring to a military man named Khun Yuan Yonok, who ordered its construction in 1564 CE (926 CS). (2)

The temple was reconstructed in the post-Ayutthaya era and restored several times in the last century.

The ordination hall, or ubosot, and chedi stand in a north-south alignment, facing the old Lopburi River and are surrounded by an inner wall.

The ubosot in the late Ayutthaya style (1629-1767 CE) (the base is built in a junk-shaped style) has a two-tiered roof without porches. There are two entries on the south side and one on the north side. The hall has four rectangular windows on the longest sides. Behind the hall stands a twenty-rabbeted-angled chedi surrounded by a low inner wall. Left and right from the chedi are small roofed structures.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown.

The site is indicated on a 19th-century map with the presence of a chedi and is denominated Wat Khun Yuan (วัดขุนญวน).

Phraya Boran Rachathanin also shows the temple on his 1926 CE map as Wat Khanun Yuan (วัดขนุนญวน). (3)

The temple was renamed in 1971 CE Wat Phrom Niwat by King Rama IX. Wat Phrom Niwat is classified as a third-class Royal temple of the 2nd grade - Voraviharn, following a ranking system for royal temples initiated in 1913 CE. [2]

Near Wat Phrom Niwat, was one of the former seven northern ferries across the old Lopburi River - at present Khlong Mueang or city canal - linking the monastery with the North Landing near the Sat Kop Gate and the Sat Kop Fortress. (4) [4]

In the manuscript Testimony of the king from Wat Pradu Songtham, a document likely compiled in the early Rattanakosin period is written that there was a land market at Wat Khun Yuan in Salapun. [4][5][6]

Wat Phrom Niwat Worawihan is in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 34.99" N, 100° 32' 53.97" 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) Lan Na, the kingdom founded by King Mangrai in the late thirteenth century, was known as the Yonok country, the home of the Thai Yon or Thai Yuan. The Tai group which migrated to this area (Chiang Mai, Lamphun, Lampang, Chiang Rai, Phrae, and Nan) was called Yuan or Yonok and had previously settled in the Golden Triangle area where Burma, Thailand and Laos meet now. [1] Wat Khun Yuan's construction could have been sponsored by a nobleman of the Northern Chiang Mai area, hence its name.

(3) Phraya Boran Rachathanin denominates the temple as Khanun Yuan, which could be translated as the "Monastery of the Vietnamese Jackfruit". Khanun Yuan is also the name for a species of fish called Lactarius Lactarius and known as the False or Milky Trevally.

(4) In Ayutthayan times, there were twenty-two ferry routes. In the northern area, the six other crossings were: Tha Ma Ap Nam to Wat Choeng Tha, Tha Sip Bia to Sala Trawen, Tha Phra Kalahom to Wat Pho, Wat Tha Sai to Wat Rong Khong, Wat Song to Wat Pa Khonthi and Tha Khun Nang to Wat Mae Nang Plum. [2]


[1] Stratton, Carol & McNair Scott, Miriam. Buddhist sculpture of Northern Thailand. Serindia Publications. p. 3 & 20.

[2] Website www.dhammathai.org/watthai/listroyalwat1.php - data retrieved 14 Dec 2009.

[3] Rachathanin, 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 Rachathanin - Revised 2nd edition and Geography of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Ton Chabab print office. Nonthaburi (2007). p. 92.

[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 (2011). Note On Testimonies And Description Of Ayutthaya. Journal of the Siam Society. Vol. 99. p. 77 (paragraph on KWPS).

[6] 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. p. 52.