Wat Sanam Kai was situated off the city island in the northern area of Ayutthaya in the Lum Phli Sub-district, Ban Sanam Kai, Mu 4. The monastery stood once on the right bank of the old Lopburi River.

In situ is a brick mound with the remains of a large Buddha image. The image was excavated and installed on the brick mound. Remnants of broken roof tiles can be found all over the area. One of the many temple ruins around Ayutthaya was broken down to its foundations by the local people in the 1950s and early 1960s to sell the remaining bricks for construction work in Bangkok.

Its historical background and construction period are unknown, although a “Kai Monastery” is mentioned in the Royal Chronicles. The chronicles recall that in 1560 CE, during the reign of King Chakkraphat (1548-1568 CE), the king came to this municipality to corral fifty elephants. One of these was a white elephant with a calf. The possession of a white elephant was considered an auspicious omen for the King’s reign.

"In 922, a year of the monkey, the King went to corral elephants in the Municipality of Kai Monastery and captured fifty males and females. Furthermore, on Saturday, the eighth day of the waning moon of the twelfth month, a white elephant, whose eyes were not albino, and a calf attached to it were taken." [1]

The site is not indicated on Fine Arts Department maps nor Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map of 1926 CE.

Wat Sanam Kai is in geographical coordinates: 14° 23' 8.94" N, 100° 32' 53.43" E.


(1) Sanam = Field (Rang)kai = Body.


[1] Cushman, Richard D. & Wyatt, David K. (2006). The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. Bangkok: The Siam Society. p. 31.