WAT SUAN LUANG KHANGKHAO





Wat Suan Luang Khangkhao, or the Monastery of the Bat Royal Garden, is a restored ruin situated near Wat Borom Phuttharam and Wat Singharam. It is located on Ayutthaya’s city island in the Pratu Chai Sub-district, on the Rajaphat Institute premises, south of Rojana Road and adjacent to former Khlong Chakrai Noi.

The area was in the boundary of the Royal Palace of King Phetracha (reign 1688-1703 CE), and it is assumed that this area used to be a former royal park, home to many bats hence its name.

The site includes an ordination hall (ubosot) and a chedi in the Ayutthaya style. The ubosot was made of brick and plaster. It is a large construction facing east. The chedi, made of brick and plaster, was indented but fallen apart. Only its pedestal remains.

A succession dispute occurred in Cambodia during the reign of King Phumintharacha, also called King Tha Sai (1709-1733 CE), causing the King of Cambodia and his followers to request refuge in Ayutthaya. In 1710 CE, Prea Ang-Em, brother-in-law of the former king of Cambodia, Preah Chei Chettha, revolted with external help against King Preah Srei Thamma Racha. The Cambodian king could escape from Oudong at night together with his child Prince Neac Ang-Em and Prince Prea Ang-Tong and request refuge in the Kingdom of Ayutthaya. [1]

King Tha Sai granted their request and offered a settlement for the Cambodians near this temple in the Yan Patong area. [2]

The Supreme Holy Lord Child and Holy Older Brother of the King, at the holy age of twenty-four, ascended to be the Department of the Holy Royal Palace Enclosure of Excellence for seven years and His Majesty took the title of Holy Ruler of Kings. Routed Nak Phra In came in from the Capital of Kamphucha. The King manifested His holy compassion by having appropriate officials go out to meet Him and build a residence for Him to live in the vicinity of the Monastery of the Flying Foxes. [3]

Its historical background and the construction period are unknown, but it is presumed, observing the architectural style, that the construction might be from the reign of King Narai (1656-1688 CE).

The site was accounted for as an ancient national monument on 16 Jan 1941 CE.

Wat Suan Luang Khangkhao is in geographical coordinates: 14° 20' 45.53" N, 100° 33' 44.73" E.




References:


[1] Moura, Jean (1883) - Le Royaume du Cambodge. Tome 2. Paris: Ernest Leroux.

[2] Kasetsiri, Charnvit & Wright, Michael (2007). Discovering Ayutthaya. Toyota Thailand Foundation. p. 141.

[3] Cushman, Richard D. & Wyatt, David K. (2006). The Royal Chronicles of Ayutthaya. Bangkok: The Siam Society. pp. 396-7 / Source: Phra Cakkraphatdiphong - Cambodian King Comes in Exile.



Groundplan of Wat Suan Luang Khangkhao



Reference: Krom Sinlapakorn (1968), Phra Rachawang lae Wat Boran nai Jangwat Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya (Fine Arts Department).





No. 1: A chedi made of brick-and-mortar on a square base, twelve rabbeted-angled in Ayutthaya style. The base is 7.10 meters wide and stands 8 meters away from the second pagoda, currently damaged and destroyed. Only the foundation remains.


No. 2: A chedi made of brick-and-mortar in a rectangular shape in Ayutthaya style. The base is 7.10 meters wide and stands at a distance of 2.50 metres from the wall of the ordination hall.


No. 3: A chedi, made of brick-and-mortar on a square base in Ayutthaya style. The base is 2.60 metres wide and stands at a 7.60 metres distance from the wall of the ordination hall. The foundation is damaged.


No. 4: The wall of the ordination hall, made of brick-and-mortar, is damaged. The foundation is 20 metres wide and 81.40 metres long.


No. 5: Boundary stones or Bai Sema are a pair of sandstone plates. There are still eight bases left.


No. 6: The ordination hall, made of brick-and-mortar, Ayutthaya style, with a broken roof, 21.80 metres wide and 64.80 metres long. Facing the east is a large Buddha image. There are porches at the front and back, and there are stairs on both sides. There are square pillars made of brick-and-mortar inside the ubosot, totalling 20 pillars. There are terraces on both sides. The ordination hall has walls and foundations.


No 7: A chedi, made of brick-and-mortar on a square base in Ayutthaya style. The base is 3.60 metres wide and stands at 16 metres distance from the wall of the ordination hall. The foundation remains.