Wat Yai Suwannaram, or commonly known as Wat Yai, is a third-class royal monastery of the second grade, Voraviharn. Previously it was called “Wat Noi Pak Tai“. It is assumed that the establishment of the temple took place when Ayutthaya was the capital city of Thailand.
In one of the royal letters written by Phrabat Somdet Phra Chulachomklao Chaoyuhua(King Rama V of Rattanakosin Era), the king mentioned that “the mural painting and other artistic works in the ordination hall must have been created more than 300 years ago” (400 years until the present time). Etymologically speaking, Wat Yaigot its name from the vast area of 20 Rai.
The word Suwan is believed to derive from the Supreme Patriarch (Tangmo) whose former name is Thong and Bhikkhu name is Suwanna. The Supreme Patriarch played an important role in the restoration because this temple ishis alma mater. Consequently, the temple has been called Wat Yai Suwannaram since then.
Wat Yai Suwannaram became a royal monastery during the reign of Phrabat Somdet Phra Chulachomklao Chaoyuhua (King Rama V), as shown in a written record below.”On 16 September 1909 when the Kingpaid a visit to PhraNakhonKhiri, he granted a private audience to a number of high ranking monks.
In this occasion, Phra Kru Maha Vihara Bhirak (the abbot of Wat Yai then) was conferred a talipot fan of rank insignia and the temple has been designated a royal monastery. In addition, the Government Gazette also holds a record relevant to “Wat Yai being elevated to a royal monastery”.
Wat Yai Suwannaram has undergone several renovations since the Ayutthaya Period. One of the greatest restorations is conducted by the Supreme Patriarch (Tangmo). Later during the reign of King Rama V of Rattanakosin Era, there was another massive restoration when Phra Kru Maha Vihara Bhirak (Pook) was an abbot.
He had a number of structures built within the temple premises, such as the cloister around the ordination hall, the prayer hall, monks’ living quarters, the twin pavilions, the belfry, the temple wall with an arched entrance, as well as the pond.
Wat Yai Suwannaram
Address: Tha Rab, Mueang Phetchaburi District, Phetchaburi 76000 Thailand