Phra Thep Khunaphon

2001 - present

Phra Thep Khunaphon (Sophon Sophanachitto), 2001-present Phra Thep Khunaphon (Sophon Sophanachitto) became the abbot of Devarajkunchon Temple in 2001. He is also referred to as the Extraordinary Preceptor and Deputy Primate of Region 14.

Ecclesiastical Titles

  • 5 December 1998 Appointed the ecclesiastical Rajakhana title of the ordinary class with the honorific name of Phra Sri Vajira Moli.
  • 5 December 2003 Appointed the ecclesiastical Rajakhana title of the Raj rank with the honorific name of Phra Rajasudhi
  • 5 December 2008 Appointed the ecclesiastical Rajakhana title of the Raj rank with the honorific name of Phra Thep Khunaphon
Phra Thep Khunaphon (Sophon Sophanachitto) was born on Friday, 5 April 1963 in Kalong Village, Kalong Sub-district, Mueang Samut Sakhon District, Samut Sakhon Province. His birth name was Sophon Phumphuang. On 9 March 1976, he was ordained as a novice at the age of 13 at Kalong Temple, with Phra Khru Samut Tham Sunthon (Sut Siridharo) as his preceptor. He subsequently moved to Hua Lamphong Temple in Bangkok to study Phra Pariyattidhamma (the study of Lord Buddha’s teachings comprising two branches: Pali and Dhamma). At this temple, he was ordained as a monk on 27 July 1985. Phra Khru Nakhorn Khet Borirak (Suwit Thitawitcho) was his preceptor; Phra Khru Boworn Wutthikit (Prachum Suchitto) was the first ordination mentor (Kammawachcharn); and Phra Khru Wisit Wutthikorn (Wichit Thitachito) was the second ordination mentor (Anusawanacharn).
After his ordination, he continued his study of Pariyattidhamma until he completed the highest levels of both the Pali and Dhamma departments.
  • 1978 Dhamma Scholar, Advanced Level
  • 1993 Pali Scholar, Level 9

General Education

  • 1998 Master of Arts (Social Policy and Planning), Krirk University
  • 13 May 2012 Honorary Doctorate in Buddhist Studies (Buddhism), Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University
  • 27 November 2012 Honorary Doctorate in Business Administration (Management), Rajamangkhala University of Technology, Phra Nakhon
  • 25 May 2014 Honorary Doctorate in Religion and Philosophy (Buddhist Studies), Mahamakut Buddhist University
  • 2 August 2014 Honorary Doctorate in Philosophy (Development Strategy), Phranakhon Rajabhat University


Phra Thep Khunaphon (Sophon Sophanachitto) has delivered sermons on a number of occasions and been consistent in his determination to restore the temple’s glory in accordance with its status as a royal monastery. He is a major force behind the development of the temple and restoration project of all structures in the temple compound – the ordination hall, the bell-shaped stupa typical of the late Ayutthaya period, pavilions, the low wall around the ordination hall, the Mondop Chaturamuk, the sermon hall, the Pariyattidhamma School, and monks’ residences. Thanks to his devotion, the project was completed in 2004 as a part of the national celebration of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit’s 72nd birthday anniversary.
He also initiated the construction of several additional structures, namely the two-storey Devarajdhammabhirom Monastic Building, the four-storey Phra Mongkhon Nawawut Monastic Building, the Golden Teak museum, the three-storey Devarajdhammasathit Monastic Building, the Punya Parami Pavilion, the Dana Parami Pavilion, a pier, a Bodhi court, a Dhamma court and the Chaloem Phra Kiat Mor Wor Kor Multipurpose Building.

The Abbots

  1. Phra Palat Muk
  2. Phra Dhamma Thesacharn (Chim)
  3. Phra Khru Dhamma Thesacharn (Yim)
  4. Phra Prasitthisutakhun (Daeng)
  5. Phra Maha Thim
  6. Phra Soraphan Kawi (Chuen)
  7. Phra Thep Sitthi Nayok (Liap Punnasiri), 1914 - 1929
  8. Phra Ariya Muni (Wang Dhammajoto), 1929 - 1958
  9. Phra Ariya Muni (Sri Thitaphalo, Pali Scholar, Level 8), 1958 - 1997
  10. Phra Maha Sombat Suwacho, Pali Scholar, Level 8, Acting Abbot from 1997 to 2001