Wat Som, or the Monastery of the Citrus Fruit, is situated on the city island in the Ayutthaya Historical Park, east of Khlong Chakra Yai (1) and east of the Somdet Phra Sri Nakharin Park. The temple is located northeast of Wat Ubosot, opposite the canal.

There is no record of when precisely the monastery was established, however, estimated from the shape of its central Khmer-style prang and the decorative stucco of the principal prang should date back to the early Ayutthaya period (1350 - 1488 CE). The prang has some of the best-preserved stucco ornaments of any temple in Ayutthaya.

There are highly detailed geometric patterns and some mythological figures - including Rahu eating the moon during an eclipse. Its lintels are especially worth a look. To the east of the prang lies the foundations of a vihara.

A few years ago, the Fine Arts Department uncovered to the north of its vihara the base of an octagonal chedi approximately two meters below the ground surface. The same depth as that of the original base of the principal prang unearthed in an earlier excavation. [1]

The site is found on Engelbert Kaempfer's drafted map. Kaempfer was a medical doctor working for the Dutch VOC (Verenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie) who surveyed the city of Ayutthaya in June 1690 CE.

This temple is mentioned as Wat Som Noi on a 19th-century map by an unknown surveyor. On this map, Wat Som Noi stood south of Wat Som Yai along the east bank of Khlong Chakrai Yai. Wat Tong Pa Mo Noi stood southeast (2). Opposite Khlong Chakrai Yai and on the southern bank of Khlong Klaep stood Wat Yi Rai (3).

The 19th-century map indicates no presence of a chedi or prang. Taking as reference points Khlong Klaep and Wat Hip on both maps, the location of Wat Som Noi could be named on Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map as Wat Som. If this anyhow should be the case, it remains an open question why Wat Som Noi was not indicated with a prang-symbol (4) on the 19th-century map.

The historical background of the temple is unknown.

The restored ruin of Wat Som is in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 43.55" N, 100° 33' 24.85" 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) Wat Thong Pa Mo Noi consisted of two temple sites being Wat Thong and Wat Pa Mo.

(3) It should be noted that Phraya Boran Rachathanin positioned Wat Yi Rai on the northern bank of Khlong Klaep. This temple is also known under the name Wat Pi Rai.

(4) Phraya Boran was the Superintendent Commissioner of Monthon Ayutthaya from 1925 till 1929 CE.