Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat is the second largest province in Thailand’s southern region southern edging the Gulf of Thailand. The province encompasses an area of 6,214,064 rai or 9,942.502 square kilometers. It is divided into 21 districts (amphurs) and 2 sub-districts. The capital city of Nakhon Si Thammarat is 780 kilometers from south of Bangkok.The capital is know locally as “Muang Nakhon”’ and was the center of an ancient and highly sophisticated civilization
The boundary to the north is Surat Thani and Gulf of Thailand, to the south are Phatthalung and Songkla. The east of Nakhon Si Thammarat consist of 225 kilometer long The Gulf of Thailand coast with beaches, while the west are Trang and Krabi. Distances from Nakhon Si Thammarat to nearby provinces:
Surat Thani is 134 kilometers, Trang is 123 kilometers, Phatthalung is 112 kilometers, Songkla is 161 kilometers, Krabi is 233 kilometers and Phuket is 366 kilometers.
There are two seasons in Nakhon Si Thammarat because of influencing from Southwest monsoon and northeast monsoon. Summer is from February to April. Rainy season is from May to January. Average temperature is 27-28 °c, and it is slightly cooler in rainy season.
Historical background of Nakhon Si Thammarat
Nakhon Si Thammarat is an ancient city with a large community that is at least 1,500 year old. The existence of the province has appeared in various documents and dispatches since the 6th-7th Buddhist century under different names such as Tambralinga, Tan Ma Ling, Lochac, Si Thammarat, Siri Tham Nakhon, Nakhon Ton Phra, and Ligor.
The coastal sand bank on the Gulf of Thailand that stretches for at least 100 kilometers was the location of the Tambralinga land. During the late the13th Buddhist century trade was firmly established between Nakhon Si Thammarat and Southern India
especially Ceylon (Sri Lanka). This resulted in an “inter-marriage” between India merchants and locals. The center was at the beach, at area called “Hat Sai Kaeo” nowadays. Nakhon Si Thammarat has known as “The Glorious City of King in Dharma”, has been a historical center of Buddhism since the 17th Buddhist century. The center gradually prospered under the rule of kings of Si Thammasokarat dynasty until the early Ayutthaya period in the 20th Buddhist century. Local culture and beliefs stem from the influences of the relationships between the foreign merchants and locals. Artifacts found in the area indicate that the province was probably the center of Buddhism more than 1,700 years ago during the Sivichaya period. Nakhon Si Thammarat is rich both historically and culturally.
Wat Phra Mahatat Woramaha Wihan
Wat Phra Mahatat Woramaha Wihan is in Tambon Nai Muang in Amphoe Muang. It has an area of 40,800 square meters.
Wat Phra Mahatat Woramaha Wihan is one of Southern Thailand’s most revered temples that has been with the city a very long time. Locals call the temple by names like “Wat Pra That and Wat Phra Maha That” However, according to thelay Officials Section of the Ministry of Religious Affairs regarding the regulations of royal temples dated 30 September 1935, this temple was designated as a primary royal temple of the “Woramaha Wihan” type (only 6 exist in Thailand) and was to be called “Wat Pra Maha That Woramaha Wihan”. An enormous structure centered on pagoda 77 meters high which is the second tallest pagoda in Thailand. This symbol of Nakhon Si Thammarat and establishment of Lanka Wong sect in Thailand is well known among Thai Buddhists. The final summit of this structure stands on square platform decorated with mural of eight of the Lord Buddha’s followers and it is covered with gold leaf. The pagoda was built some 1,700 years ago during the Sivichaya period to house the Lord Buddha’s relics, which were brought from Ceylon (Sri Lanka). The origin of the temple is clouded in mystery. Within the temple complex there are many interesting religious artifacts and historical sites. For example, The small Museum is a cluster of priceless artifacts and archeological finds. Vihara Luang is a chapel that the ceiling is intricately painted and decorated. The building is a perfect example of Ayudhya Style Art. Vihara Pra Ma contains two National Masterpieces. The mural on the wall at the base of the stairway depicts the life of Lord Buddha in India before he was ordained.
Wat Thao Khot ( In Amphoe Muang)
Wat Thao Khot is in Tanbon Nai Muang that is a very old riverside temple. The present temple incorporates 5 abandoned temples, which are Wat Sop, wat Chai Na, Wat Wa, Wat Tharawadi and Wat Thao Khot. The large compound has many artifacts of historical and archaeological relevance like ancient temple boundary markers and a Si Wichai-period pagoda. The temple was in a dilapidated state until 1988 when the Fine Arts Department renovated it by keeping most of its original form intact. An interesting part of the temple is the old convocation hall from the early Ayutthaya period with murals
Wat Na Phra Lan ( In Amphoe Muang)
Wat Na Phra Lan is south of Wat Phra Maha That Woramaha Wihan. It has a collection of several old and important Buddha images. In addition, there is a pool that is famous all over as its water is regarded as sacred. The water was used in royal coronation ceremonies, pledge of allegiance to the king and Buddhist rites.
Phra Sua Muang Shrine ( In Amphoe Muang)
Phra Sua Muang is an angle or the protective spirit of the city. It protects the city from all dangers, protects the armed forces and gives peace to the locals. The shrine was built to house an image of the same name. Originally built in the Ayutthaya period, the shrine has received gradual renovations and additions until it has transformed into its current style of Chinese architecture. The Phra Sua Muang image is a standing image beside a kneeling female image in regalia. Interior décor also shows strong Chinese influence.
Ho Phra Phutthasihing ( In Amphoe Muang)
The chapel is an important historical site of the city and is as important as the Pra Phutthasihing image itself. It used to belong to kings and lords of the city. It is 150 between the provincial hall and the provincial court. The chaple is divided into 2 parts. A plaster-covered brick wall is in the front part where the Buddha image is located as well as an image carrying a bowl. The back part has 3 small pagodas that contain the bones of the Na Nakorn family (famous family)
The King of Lanka commissioned Phra Phutthasihing in 157 AD for Nakhon Si Thammarat. And later King Ramkhamhaeng the Great came down to Nakhon Si Thammarat himself to receive the image and take it to Sukhothai. Up to 1985, there were 3 Phra Phutthasihing images in Thailand (Nakhon Si Thammarat, Chiang Mai, and Bangkok)
Wihan Phra Sung ( In Amphoe Muang)
This building is called Bot Phra Sung. It is situated on a high earth hill. The building itself is made of bricks covered with plaster. It has a wooden roof of the late Ayutthaya period style. The interior wall has drawings of falling flowers, The building houses a plaster sitting Buddha image from the Ayutthaya period called “Phra Sung”. The Buddha image is widely revered by locals.
Wat Sema Muang ( In Amphoe Muang)
Wat Sema Muang is as old as Phra Boroma That pagoda. This temple is considered the first temple in Nakhon Si Thammarat. Wat Sema Muang is a temple of great historical and archaeological significance to the province and the Si Wichai Empire. An inscription on a sandstone temple boundary marker that has proven very instrument in unraveling the secrets of Thailand’s history and archaeology.
Holy Water Sources
Nakhon Si Thammarat has more 5 more such holy water sources:
- The pool at Wat Sema Muang in Tambon Nai Muang
- The pool at Wat Sema Chai in Tambon Nai Muang
- The pool of Wat Pratu Khao, an abandoned temple in Tanbon Khlang.
- The brook at khao Maha Chai flows down from the mountain to the area of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Rajabhat Institute. The brook water is believed to bring good fortune and victory.
- The winding brook at Pak Nakharat look like a serpent when the water is full. It is in Amphoe Lan Saka.
There are pools that are famous all over as their water is regarded as sacred. The water were used in royal coronation ceremonies, pledge of allegiance to the king and Buddhist rites.
Ho Phra Narai ( In Amphoe Muang)
The chapel houses the image of Narai, a Brahman god, and was used in Brahmangious ceremonies. Brahmans that came to Nakhon Si Thammarat could be divided into those that mostly worshipped Phra Narai and performed rites at Phra Narai chapel. Inside the chapel is a damaged god statue similar to a four-handed Narai image. There is no evidence to indicate if this is an original statue or it was built to replace an older one.
Ho Phra Isuan ( In Amphoe Muang)
The chapel is opposite Pra Narai chapel. To the south is Sao Chingcha (Giant Swing). There used to be a Brahman church near the swing, but there is not one any longer. The only remnant is the swing that stands today. This one was erected to replace the old one that was used for the Tri Yampawai and Tri Pawai ceremonies of the Brahmans of the province. The chapel houses the image of Phra Isuan (Shiva), a Brahman god. Believed built in the Ayutthaya period, it was used for Brahman religious ceremonies. The original chapel eroded away and the Fine Arts Development now renovated the one that is present in 1966. The tower has a collection of Siva Linga and their bases that were relocated from the Brahman church.
Solahudin Mosque ( In Amphoe Muang)
Once known as “Surao Nok”, this mosque has been a religious center for all Muslims nearby.
Wat Tham Tong Phannara ( In Amphoe Tham Phannara)
This temple is in Tong Cave. It located 2 kms. far from Tham Phannara district office. Locals believe that two Buddhist nuns who established this temple, brought offering and property to build Wat Phramaha That. But on the way they knew the news that Wat Phramaha That was completely built. Then the nuns decided to build Lying-Buddha image in Tong cave and bury their offering and property in this image. And after the nuns died, their relative built two Buddha image to house their relic. Annually on 1st new moon day of the eleventh lunar month, it has the revered festival. Locals come to pay homage to Buddha image in the cave and visit beauty of natural cave.
Wat Mok Ka Lan Archaeological Site ( In Amphoe Tha Sala)
This site located about 10 kms. from the city. This area was constructed in following Saiva sect of Brahma religion during the 12th –14th Buddhist century. Example interesting evidences are lines of stone column, carved stone doorframes, images of Shiva (Linga) and ancient pool.
Khao Ka Archaeological Site (In Amphoe Sichon)
This area was constructed in following Saiva sect of Brahma religion during the 13th –14th Buddhist century. Ka mountain is the center of universe like Phra Sumane Moutain in following Brahma belief. An exploration found many interesting antiques (such as base of Linga (Yoni), tubes of holy water) and ruin of Brahma shrine.
Wat Khra Duknga (In Amphoe Khanom)
This temple was built in the Ayutthaya period. The Buddhist temple hall has interior wall with exquisite drawing of Buddha story and the Buddha image from Ayutthaya period
Wat That Taram or Wat Khao That (In Amphoe Khanom)
This temple has coral pagoda stand on That mountain peak. Locals believe that Chaiya people who established this temple, brought property to build Wat Phramaha That. But on the way they knew the news that Wat Phramaha That was completely built. Then they decided to build this coral pagoda in That mountain. The pagoda form is in the shape of an inverted woven bowl, which has 5-6 meters base diameter. Around the pagoda base has red sandstone carved Buddha images.
Wat Nun Tharam ( In Amphoe Pak Panang)
Luang Pho Poot is red sandstone carved Buddha images in the Ayutthaya period style, was placed in this temple. And an interesting antique is large image of Shiva (Linga) from Khao Ka Archaeological Site that is the most completely Linga found in the South. It was carved from limestone in some 1,200 years ago during 12th-14th Buddhist century.
Kuan Yin Bodhisattva
It situates in Cham Po Khong foundation. This Bodhisattva is 19 meters high, a image in blessing and standing posture, stand on large lotus flower.
This cave has many large sacred laying-Buddha images. Nap Thichinphong, famous Nakhon Si Thammarat artist drew a mural paintings about Buddha story.
Historic sites and buildings
City Wall and Northern Gate ( In Amphoe Muang)
The city wall is a symbol of the province’s ancient history. Together the wall and gate originally measured some 400 meters wide and 2,320 meters long and surrounded the old city. Local legend says that the first wall was built in the reign of the King Si Thammasokarat and was an earth wall. Indian and southern Mon workers completed the wall. The plaster-covered brick wall that is still left in some parts to the north of the ancient city was built during the 18th – 19th Buddhist centuries. Throughout the years restorations have been made to the wall.
Sala Phradu Hok ( In Amphoe Muang)
Sala Pradu Hok sites at the city’s entrance. The Pavilion’s location was originally the northern city gate called “Chai Sak”. Around the pavilion were 6 large shade trees of the genus Pterocarpus. Therefore, locals call the pavilion “La Do Hok”(La is pavilion, Do is the trees and Hok is six)
The City Pillar Hall ( In Amphoe Muang)
Another landmark as the city founding mark, according the Thai tradition, was a Takian wooden pillar brought from a deep Nakhon Si Thammarat’s mountain.
The Giant Pagoda ( In Amphoe Muang)
This Ceylon-typed pagoda, the second biggest pagoda to Phra Barom That Chedi in Nakhon Si Thammarat, presumably has been constructed in the same period of Phra Barom That Chedi. It is frontage has a revered Buddha Image named Phra Ngern.
Century monastery of Wat Wang Tawan Tok ( In Amphoe Muang)
Within this temple complex there is Southern Thai Style house. Construction of the house began in 1888 and it took 13 years to complete. The building was constructed without nail and is actually was 3 building adjoined structures displays a refined unique architectural style of Nakhon city.
Chinese-styled small house of Wat Chaeng ( In Amphoe Muang)
This temple was built sometime between 1784 and 1787. “Keng Jeen” a small Chiness Style building is decorated with wood importanted from China. The ashes of one of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s rulers and his wife are in two small pagoda in this building
Chinese-styled small house of Wat Pradoo ( In Amphoe Muang)
A characteristically square Chineses-styled small house with refined-caved door panes importanted from China, houses the revered relic of of Nakhon Si Thammarat’s rulers (Chao Phraya Nakhon (Noi Klang)) and the revered relic of King Taksin, the Great.
Wat Khao Khun Pha Nom ( In Amphoe Phrom Kiree)
Wat Khao Khun Pha Nom is a temple of important historical and archaeological. This temple is in the caves that has many artifacts of historical and archaeological relevance like ancient wall with temple boundary markers like city wall, the interior wall decorated with Chinese-styled ceramic tiles and the thirty bronze Buddha images and Buddha footprint. Locals believe that in the past this temple had been a house of King Taksin, the Great in the end of his reign.
Stone inscription of Khao Chong Koy
The stone inscription was engraved with Phunlawa Phat Sanskrit language during 12th-14th Buddhist century. It is the oldest language found in the South. This inscription show the detail about Shiva, guardian spirit of forest and mottos
Local village and lifestyle
Kiriwong Village (In Amphoe Lansaka)
This village is located about 23 kms. from the city. Kiriwong is a small village where the local people are friendly and welcoming. The village as at the foot of Khao Luang (Luang Mountain), which raises 1,835 meters. Parts of the village were destroyed during floods and landslides in 1988. Despite the devastation of the floods, the atmosphere of the village is still characterized by its natural beauty and culture. Kiriwong Village is the model community for managing ecotourism and got a Thailand Tourism Award Year 1998 (city and community aspect) from Tourism Authority of Thailand. This village has many tourism activities such as local mixed orchard tour, home stay, traditional tie-dyed fabric tour, and herbal manufacturing tour.
Khao Khun Pa Nom Village (In Amphoe Phrom Kiree)
This village located about 15 kms. from the city. Khao Khun Pa Nom is a small village where locals participate to manage the agricultural tourism in this community like orchard tour by bike.
National Museum of Nakhon Si Thammarat (In Amphoe Muang)
It houses a collection of historical and archeological evidences in this province and other seven uppermost southern provinces
Center of Art and Culture, Nakhon si thammarat Ratchaphat University (In Amphoe Muang)
This center located about 13 kms. from the city, in Nakhon Si thammarat Ratchaphat University. It houses a collection of historical and archeological evidences in this province since established city, local language and literatures and local performance.
Museum of Enhanced the King Bhumibol’s Prestige and Pak Phanang’s River Basin Area Development Project
This museum was built from Pak Phanang’s River Basin Area Development Project under an edict of the present king for developing areas in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Phattalung, and Songkhla. It consists of three main exhibition rooms that are the duties of King King Bhumibol exhibition, project info exhibition and Pak Phanang historical exhibition.
Site associated with historic events and famous people
Sa Lang Dap Si Prat ( In Amphoe Muang)
Si Prat was a great poet of Autthaya who prospered during the reign of King Narai the Great. However, when he had a misconduct related to royal custom, he was banished to Nakhon Si Thammarat. He later committed adultery and was executed by Chao Phraya Nakhon. “Sa Lang Dap Si Prat” was where Si Prat was executed. It is said that after the execution, the executioner washed his sword in the pool here. The Monument of Thai conquerors
This warrior monument in the combating post is a memorial of the defense of courageous Thai warriors against Japanese soldiers during World War II on the D-Day on December 8, 1941.
Muang Nakhon Palace (In Amphoe Phrom Kiree)
Muang Nakhon palace is Thai royalty family’s resident when they come to Nakhon si Thammarat. It located in old orchard which own by Thong Sa Mak’s family. This family built the palace for offering to King King Bhumibol and Thai royal family in the name of Nakhon Si Thammarat people.
Krung Ching forest in Khao Luang National Park
It had been an important base of South Communist Party. Along 3.8 kms. trail in Krung Ching forest has many interest historical evidences like battle field, Phratu Chai cave (air raid shelter), Khlur cave (food store cave), basketball field. And the end of this trail has Phon San Ha waterfall, the most beautiful waterfall in this park.
Local sports Buffalo Fighting
Bull pitted against bull is a popular game in Southern Thailand, particularly in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Festivals and special events
Hae Pha Kean That Festival (Pagoda Clothing Festival)
Annually held on the 15th new moon day of the third lunar month (Between February and March) and after the sixth lunar month, this festival features a noble practice by clothing the base of Phra Baromma That Chedi with fabric strips. Locals pay homage to the sacred enshrined relics of the Lord Buddha. There are a number of religious ceremonies, among them a traditional merit making procession that brings a Pha Phra Bot (a cloth painting of the Lord Buddha’s life story) to be placed upon the pagoda of Phra Mahathat Temple. Another interesting tradition is Mathupayat rice (sticky rice in coconut and sugar cane syrup) stirring ceremony.
Nakhon Si Thammarat is different from those of other provinces, given its unique environment and beliefs. The highlight is the bathing ceremony for Phra Phutthasihing, major Buddha image. And The traditional Procession of Nang Darn is an important tradition during Songkran festival. Formerly, it was the Hindu’s local traditional festival. However, it was disappeared for over 90 years. The purpose of performing the procession of Nang darn was to welcome the god Shiva who descended from heaven to visit human being for 10 days once a year. This procession is the procession of three boards; the God of the Sun and Moon, the God of the River, and the God of the earth.
The Tenth Lunar Month Festival of Nakhon
This festival is celebrated on the last ten days of the waning moon in September (The Tenth Lunar Month). According to local belief, this is when ancestors are allowed to visit their relatives. On this occasion, there are merit making ceremonies for ancestors. This festival is a 10 day celebration at Phra Mahathat Temple and Princess Mother 84 Public Park. The major festival event is the Hmrub Procession (Hmrum mean traditional delicately decorated food and dessert along Ratchadamneon Road to Princess Mother 84 Public Park. People all over Thailand join the merit making and religious rituals.
The Buddhist ceremony of festooned thrones in parade (Chak Phra Festival)
This ceremony has influenced from Indian believe which is celebrated on the 1st of the waning moon on October every year. In many temples, Locals lift a Buddha image in holding an alms-bowl posture to place on exquisite throne and haul along the road. And at Pak Phanang river, it has the Buddhist ceremony of festooned boats in parade and boat race.
Traditional arts and crafts
Suchart Sapsin’s Shadow Puppet Show: It is an unmatched shadow puppet show house, demonstrating the puppet performance, ranging from puppet carving to displaying a collection of Thai shadow puppets in diverse periods together with foreign puppets for educational and visiting purposes.
Yan lophao: Yan Liphao is a clinging vine that grows in this area. The vine is split into threads and hand woven into beautiful products. There is a Yan liphao Center to visit at tha Rua village, 10 kms. from the city.
Pottery: Mok Ka Lan is the famous pottery’s village. In the past, this village produced soil brick and vase, but in the present the local producers develop their pottery to has various kind and high quality. “Bang Poo”, a famous pottery market located about 17 kms. from the city near Bang Poo three-way intersection.
Pha Yok: Pha Yok is a rare cloth weave only in Nakhon Si Thammarat . The pattern and colors of the fabric are exquisite. It is possible to visit a “Pha Yok” weaving center and watch expert weavers at work
Other crafts from this area include neiloware, silverware, brassware and bronzware. There are many craft shops along Tha Chang road and Wat Phramahathat.
Nakhon Si Thammarat has unique traditional performance such as Ma NoRa dancing, Local song (Plang Bok), Shadoe puppet show etc.
Traditional food and drinks
Nakhon Si Thammarat has a number of foods and desserts different in character and flavor from those of other areas in Thailand. Foods are not just delicious tasting For every meal,these are usually accompanied by several kinds of fresh vegetables.
- “Kanohm Jin” Nakhon styled Thai Noodle with variety of spicy curry sauces
- “Kang LuangYellow” curry (sour curry with fish and vegetables)
- “Kang Pung Pla” Fish viscera curry
- “Kol Kling Nua” Stir-fried meat with chili paste
- “Yum Pung Pla” Fermented fish spicy salad
- “Tom Som Pla Kabok” Sea mullet fish sour soup
- “Pla Kabok Tot Kamin” Fried sea mullet fish with turmeric powerDesserts
- “Khow Tom Look Yon” Sticky rice in coconut-typed leaves
- “Durian Kuan” Preserved durian with smoked betel palm husk
- “Ka Nom La” La sweet (typical Tenth Month Festival dessert)
- “Mang Kut Kat” Crispy mangosteen
- “ Jum Pa Da Tot” Crispy fried jack fruit
There are markets throughout the city. The night market along Chamreon Withee Road is particularly colorful. All of the markets sell local foods and other interesting goods.
Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan, Nakhon Si Thammarat
Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan is the main Buddhist temple of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, the largest province in Southern Thailand. It is located on the main sand bar of Nakhon Si Thammarat on which the ancient town and the present town of Nakhon Si Thammarat were built. The ancient town of Nakhon Si Thammarat developed from the early state of Thailand called Tambralinga and the name of which is mentioned in the Pali canon of the Buddhism as one of the prosperous port towns of the Eastern world, and thereby archaeological evidence found at many sites in Nakhon Si Thammarat supports the literary evidence. Tambralinga became a flourishing port town and was ruled independently since the 5th century CE. and continued onwards. At some points of times it joined a union with Sri Vijaya, the Mahayana Buddhist Kingdom, which was famous for the world maritime trade networks during the 8th to the 12th century CE.
According to the Nakhon Si Thammarat’s chronicle, the main stupa of the temple, called Phra Borommathat Chedi, literally, the Great Noble Relics Stupa, was built prior to other religious architectural buildings in the temple by King Sri Dhammasokaraja in approximately the early 13th century CE. in order to establish the Theravada Buddhist symbol on the land and to serve the belief of his people on the presence of the Buddha’s relics in situ which should be housed by the stupa. Other literary sources provide a reasonable assumption that after the misery of an epidemic which was sweeping through the town, people scattered and the town was almost deserted. The king’s project of building the stupa for housing the relics was created as a mean of encouraging greater participation by his subjects. Thus the stupa caused the coming back to rebuild and develop the town community which was united in its support for constructing and maintaining the stupa and the temple as the main spiritual centre for the people. Other religious architectural buildings in the compound had been built from the early 13th century to the 18th century CE. including Wihan Bodhi-Lanka, the roofed cloister round the Bodhi Tree which is believed to be a sprout of the Bodh Gaya’ s Bodhi Tree under which the Buddha reached Enlightenment.
The Thai name for the temple, Phramahathat woramahawihan comes from Pali, vara maha dhatu vara maha vihara, literally meaning ‘the Great Noble Temple of the Great Noble Relics Stupa.’ The stupa, regarded as the most important building of the temple, is the gigantic-bell-shaped stupa which was directly inspired by Sri Lankan Buddhist art reflecting the belief on the transmission of King Asokan tradition of stupa from India to Sri Lanka and on the preservation of the Buddhism by following King Asoka’s footstep. In this connection, it is evident that the ruler of Nakhon Si Thammarat who initially built the stupa and the successive ones who restored and refurbished the stupa and the temple, are called Sri Dhammasokaraja, which was named after the epithet of King Asoka the Great; i.e., Sri Dhammaasoka- raja or Asoka-dhammaraja. The name of the town ‘Nakhon Si Thammarat’ from Pali, Nagara Sri Dhammaraja, literally meaning ‘town of Dhammaraja,’ denotes the adoption of two simultaneous concepts; i.e., the Buddha as the Dhammaraja, the spiritually righteous king of the Buddhists and the Dhammaraja of King Asoka the Great, the secularly righteous king. After establishing the main stupa and its religious edifices of the temple, it is known that during that time Nakhon Si Thammarat was the centre of the Theravada Buddhism both intellectual and artistic practices. According to the first Inscription of the Sukhothai Kingdom, Nakhon Si Thammarat had a powerful influence on the strength of the Theravada belief and practice in the Sukhothai Kingdom, including the architectural tradition of the stupa’s building.
There are ten big times of restoration of the stupa and its religious edifices; i.e., first 100 years after establishing the stupa, after that in 1612-1616, 1647, 1732-1758, 1769, 1895-1898, 1914, 1972-1974, 1987, and the last in 1994-1995, which are considered the great events in social history and history of conservation, due to the fact that each time was undertaken under the patronage of a Dhammaraja, the righteous king, who was the Theravada Buddhist, and always incorporated with a large number of people of variety, without religious discrimination. It is recorded that the non-Buddhist like the Muslims donated money and materials to restore the stupa and the religious buildings of the temple. Moreover, their belief to respect the original form of the buildings tends to preserve the authenticity of the stupa and the temple. The restorations of Wat Phramahathat woramahawihan such as these are archetypal practices in restoration of the living monument that people mostly participated. They are a truly communal activity on preservation of the monument. Additionally, as the sacred site, the worship of the stupa and the temple has been daily practiced. People who visited the sacred place have performed their merit-making by donating their valuable objects to the stupa which symbolizes the Buddha and to the temple which symbolizes the Sangha (the Buddhist monks) and the Dhamma (the Buddha’s teachings). As time goes on, these offerings increased, and consequently, the museum of the temple was built to serve the collections and they are on display. The museum as an educational part of the temple reflects the artistic appreciation and the faith of people from the remote past until today.