Wat Sala Pun, or the Monastery of the Pavilion of Lime, is an active monastery located off the city island in the northwestern 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 Phrom Niwat lie in its vicinity.

In situ are the classic monastic buildings. The ordination hall and chedi stand in a northwest-southeast alignment. A wall surrounds the structures. The ubosot in the late Ayutthaya style had a three-tiered roof and two porches. The elevated front porch has three entries two small ones and, in the middle, a large one. The rear porch has two entrances. In between the doors stands a chapel with rather west-European features. Two columns support the roof above the porches. The hall has three rectangular windows on the longest sides. Behind the hall stands a bell-shaped chedi surrounded by a low inner wall.

Within the walls surrounding the ubosot and chedi stands a restored library building (Ho Trai) in which the Buddhist scriptures were kept with well-preserved stucco in a flower pattern on its pediment.

Historical data about the monastery and its construction are unknown. The site is indicated on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 CE.

The temple housed in earlier years a primary school. It was in this school that Pridi Banomyong spent his early school period. [1]

Wat Sala Pun is renowned for its beautifully hand-carved wooden Tripitaka cabinet in which were kept the sacred Buddhist manuscripts, mostly large libretto books made of a type of thick mulberry paper depicting elaborate scenes from the Jatakas, story of Phra Malai, the life of the Buddha, etc. These cabinets were either black lacquer with mother-of-pearl inlay or carved and painted with gold.

The temple is a second-class royal temple of the Maha Nikaya sect and ranked "worawiharn" (4th grade) following a ranking system for royal temples, which was initiated in 1913 CE. [2]

Ban Sala Pun, or the Village of the Lime Pavilion, is one of the old villages mentioned in the "Geographical description of Ayutthaya: Documents from the Palace". The village set up furnaces to produce and sell red lime. As the name of the village indicates, it should have been located in the vicinity of Wat Sala Pun and Wat Phrom Niwat. Phraya Boran Rachathanin also mentions in his 'Explanation of the map of the Capital of Ayutthaya" that there was a market in this area. Wat Sala Pun was likely the religious centre of Ban Sala Pun. [3]

A sandstone relief dating back to the 14-15th century CE depicting a Bodhi tree was found in Khlong Mueang near Wat Sala Pun.

The site is in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 39.87" N, 100° 32' 57.71" 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.


[1] Concise autobiography of Nai Pridi Banomyong (1983).

[2] www.dhammathai.org/watthai/listroyalwat1.php retrieved 14 December 2009.

[3] Pongsripian, Vinai, Dr. (2007). Phanna phumisathan Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya: Ekasan jak Ho Luang. Geographical description of Ayutthaya: Documents from the palace. Bangkok: Usakane. p. 87.