Wat Suwan Chedi, or the Monastery of the Golden Chedi, is a restored ruin located on the city island in the Tha Wasukri Sub-district. The site, near the property of a technical school, can be reached via Kalahom Road, running behind (or west of) Wat Racha Burana and linking Naresuan Road with U-Thong Road.

The place is fenced off to preserve the ruins but can easily be accessed through the guarded entry of the school premises. The ruin is part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park.

Wat Suwan Chedi faced the Lam Khu Pak Sa (Lit. the ditch to the pond's mouth). This small watercourse diverted water from the old Lopburi River (a stretch called today Khlong Mueang) through the Maha Thera Mai Sae tunnel gate in the city wall and through the area presently called Bueng Phra Ram. The water ran through earthenware pipes under the Elephant Road, passed Wat Yan Sen and Wat Chum Saeng, and ran under the Palace Road to continue further south to join the Pratu Thep Mi Canal. Wat Suwan Chedi mirrored Wat Yan Sen on the opposite side of the canal. [1]

In situ are the remnants of three main monastic structures an ordination hall with a central chedi and a sermon hall or vihara. The main chedi is a brick-and-mortar bell-shaped pagoda built on a square platform. The chedi has three-layer basal rings, which are supported by a lotus-shaped pedestal. Above the dome sits a damaged square harmika. The colonnade supporting the chedi’s umbrella is missing. The partly broken spire featured 31 discs representing the 31 planes of existence. The top knob is missing. Based on its architectural style, the chedi is similar to the main chedi of Wat Suwannawat and the peripheral chedis of Wat Phra Si Sanphet, built during the middle Ayutthaya period.

The ubosot stood west of the central chedi with the main entrance to the west, facing the Lam Khu Pak Sa. Its foundations are reconstructed mainly. People gathered the broken pieces of Buddha images and deposed them on the remnant of the altar. The vihara, a brick-and-mortar structure located south of the main stupa, had its main entrance in the west.

The sermon hall has front and back porches. At present, only its platform and the square-shaped indented columns of the back porch remain visible. Staircases could reach the front porch on both sides. Several satellite chedis and foundations of other buildings are spread over the site. Some features of - what was likely - the outer wall still can be seen.

Its historical background and period of construction are unknown. On 2 August 1952 CE, a crypt underneath the main stupa of Wat Suwan Chedi was discovered. The burial chamber held many golden artefacts, including a ring, casket, votive tablets, embossed miniature plaques of different animals (elephant, horse, fish and turtle) and a miniature plaque of a boat designed with the front and tail high raised into a U-shape. The boat is decorated with a fish egg design (Lai Khai Pla). [2] A board in situ indicates that this temple was built in the middle Ayutthaya period (1488 - 1629 CE) and later restored during the late Ayutthaya period (1629 - 1767 CE).

A map drafted in the 19th century and Phraya Boran Rachathanin's map of 1926 CE indicate the site. The 19th-century map shows the existence of a chedi.

The ruin of Wat Suwan Chedi is in geographical coordinates: 14° 21' 33.86" N, 100° 33' 56.77" E.


[1] Athibai Phaenthi Phra Nakhon Sri Ayutthaya kap khamwinitjai khong Phraya Boran Racha Thanin. Explanation of the map of the Capital of Ayutthaya with a ruling of Phraya Boran Rachathanin. Revised 2nd edition and Geography of the Ayutthaya Kingdom. Ton Chabab print office. Nonthaburi (2007). p53.

[2] Information was gathered during the exhibition "Ayutthaya Gold: World Heritage, National Heritage" at the Chao Sam Phraya Museum on 5 November 2016.