Songdhammakalyani Monastery is a temple and bhikkkhuni monastery in Nakhon Pathom, Thailand. It was founded in 1960 by Ven. Ta Tao Fa Tzu (born Voramai Kabilsingh), the first modern Thai woman to ordain as a bhikkhuni. The monastery was originally known as Wat Songdhammakalyani (the temple of women who uphold Dhamma).
The monastery is situated on Petkasem Highway, the major highway leading from Bangkok to the south. One can literally continue on this Highway to the border connecting Thailand to Malaysia and through Malaysia to Singapore. It is located the left side of the road, 53 kilometers west of Bangkok. The landmark is a huge golden laughing Buddha in front of the temple.
Historically, Ven. Voramai Kabilsingh purchased the land from the Queen of King Rama VI in 1960. The lot is 6 rai (minimum allowable to build a temple). During King Rama VI’s reign he had Sanamchan Summer Palace built in the city of Nakhon Pathom, just 3 kilometers from the temple. The land in and around the area where the temple is now situated was previously owned by the royal members. The lane next to the temple is still called “Trok Wang” which means “the palace lane.”
The Uposatha building, being the most important, was built during the Ven. Ta Tao Fa Tzu’s period. Other buildings were built by Ven.Dhammananda, her daughter, the second and current abbess. There is a library also used as classroom behind the Uposatha hall. The Medicine Buddha Vihara is in the back of the monastic compound where visitors may view the largest and most beautiful Medicine Buddha in Thailand.
Yasodhara Vihara is an all purpose 3-storey building with a large dining area on the second floor and a large hall to house the 13 statues of Arahat Theris (fully illuminated female Buddhist monks)on the third floor. On the ground floor there is a bookshop and a parking lot for 40 cars.
Bodhisattalaya is a 3-storey residential building with 16 rooms for double occupancy, to house 32 Samaneris at one time. The Bhikkhunis in residence live in other buildings.
Further information about the monastery: