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Tambon Suan Phrik, Amphoe Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya
Elephant Kraal Pavilion (Phaniat) is located in Suan Phrik sub-district. It is four kilometers away from the city along Highway 347 at km 42-43. It is on the same way as Wat Phu Khao Thong, but you need to turn right and go straight along the road, and there will be a sign leading to the Phaniat Palace.
Phaniat is very big for the king to stay and watch the elephant round-up or catching wild elephants in the Phaniat, which is a traditional ceremony to select elephants to for official use both in peace and war. A mahout would lure elephants from outside the city into the Phaniat then select only the required one for training. When there are state guests, the king would always offer them the Elephant Round-up, because this ceremony is not only an elephant selection, but also a kind of entertainment.
The Elephant Round-up had been performed since Ayutthaya period until the reign of King Rama V. The current Phaniat is a kraal surrounded with the entire log and crow’s wings that spread out on both sides as fences. Around the Phaniat is an earth wall that is comprised of bricks as high as the logs. Its back side opposite to the wings is a pavilion, which was renovated in 1957. The Tourism Authority of Thailand provided the budget to the Fine Arts Department to renovate the Phaniat in 1988 as well.
About 200 kilometers away from the Phaniat is the Ayutthaya elephant nursing center or elephant village. It is a rest area for elephants after work, where calves are taken care of. Tourists are welcome to take photos with young elephants. Anyone interested in watching the bathing elephant should came here before 10.30 am or after 4.30 pm. Homestays are also available at the center.