Wat Sangkha Tha is located on the city island in the southwestern part of Ayutthaya in the Pratu Chai Sub-district. The temple is situated west of Khlong Chakrai Yai (1) in the Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park. In its immediate vicinity are Wat Sangkha Thae and Wat Chedi Yai, while Wat Jao Phram is located east of it.

Being part of the Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park, the ruin has been restored by the Fine Arts Department. The site, which goes under the name of Wat Sangkha Tha, consists of two monastic structures, being an ordination hall and a vihara, both with a chedi. Two other monastic structures are also in situ: a vihara called Wat Sangkha Thae or the "Monastery of the True Monkhood" and likely a bell or drum tower. A moat surrounds the whole complex. Only a path on its eastern side leads to the site. I presume that all buildings were part of one single monastery, although, on the maps of Phraya Boran Rachathanin and the Fine Arts Department, they are indicated as separated entities.

The chedi of the vihara at the west has a three-tier redented chedi on an octagonal base. Its conical spire and harmika broke off and disappeared. Some stucco standing Buddha images are still partly visible.

The ordination hall at the east has a Sinhalese-styled chedi on a square base. The bell-shaped dome, with its harmika and umbrella semi-intact, rest on a three-levelled platform, the latter representing the "Traiphum" or the "Three Worlds".

Its historical background and construction period are unknown. Still, we can read in the Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya that Reverend Yan Rakkhit of the Holy Royal Synod’s Division of Meditation Matters lived here in 1755 CE at the monastery. He was invited by King Borommakot (reign 1733-1758 CE) to study transcendental meditation within the residence at the Monastery of Binding and Overlaying in a district of Wiset Chaichan (2) to prepare himself to control the weather during the dedication of the Monastery of Phraya Kham.

"On that occasion rain fell in heavy abundance. The King thereupon issued a holy royal order for the clerical officers and ecclesiastical officials to invite the Reverend Professor of the Monastery of Binding and Overlaying of a district of the Municipality of Wiset Chaichan to come down and had him sit in meditation to help halt the rain. Now that reverend professor had someone prostrate himself and say to the King, “I have business to attend to. I would bestow my holy blessing, take my leave and go back to build a seminary, I would ask for one Holy Person and Overlord who is skilled in the ways of holy transcendental meditation to come and I will explain the methods so he can sit in meditation and halt the rain in my soul’s place.” The King thereupon manifested His holy compassion by having Reverend Yan Rakkhit of the Holy Royal Synod’s Division of Meditation Matters, who was living at the Monastery of Sangkatha, invited to come and study the methods of the way of holy transcendental meditation within the residence of the Reverend Professor of the Monastery of Binding and Overlaying. After the Reverend Professor of the Monastery of Binding and Overlaying had explained the methods for him, he accordingly bestowed his holy blessing, took his leave and went back to his temple." [1]

The site shows on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map drafted in 1926 CE, in the same position as mentioned on the 19th century map.

The restored ruin of Wat Sangkha Tha is in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 40.77" N, 100° 33' 11.46" E.


(1) Khlong Chakrai Yai is part of a waterway running through the west of Ayutthaya from north to south. The canal was the extension of Khlong Pak Tho and ran from the Lam Hoei Bridge to the Chakrai Yai Gate opposite Wat Phutthaisawan. The channel was a shortcut through the oxbow of the Lopburi River and connected the old Lopburi River, present Khlong Mueang in the north with - what is today - the Chao Phraya River in the south. Ban Chakrai was a village located on the city island but outside the city walls.

(2) Wiset Chaichan, located on the bank of the Noi River, is an ancient settlement believed to date from the Dvaravati period (6th-11th centuries). It was a vital border outpost of the Ayutthaya kingdom. The Noi River served as a natural obstacle for advancing troops. Prince Damrong wrote it became a town when King Naresuan (reign 1590-1605 CE) gained a victory over the forces of Hongsawadi in 1585 CE and named it Mueang Wiset Chaichan because it was the assembling place for the Siamese forces from that time onwards. After the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 CE, as the Noi River had become too shallow for water transportation, the town was moved to the bank of the Chao Phraya River and named Ang Thong.


[1] Cushman, Richard D. Wyatt, David K. (2006). The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. The Siam Society. p. 454. Source: Royal Autograph.
[2] Rajanubhab, Damrong (Prince) (1917). Our Wars with the Burmese. White Lotus, Bangkok (2000).