Nakhon Pathom Province

Phra Pathom Chedi

Buddha image, Phuttha Monthon
Nakhon Pathom, only 56 kilometers west of Bangkok, is a city dating back to at least 150 B.C., say the historians...a city rich with meaning to all Buddhists as it was here Buddhism was first introduced to the country now known as Thailand.
Phra Pathom Chedi, on coming toward the city, the first glimpse of towering Phra Pathom Chedi is over powering. It is one of the largest Chedis in the world and in Thailand, by far the most holy of all Buddhist structures. Reaching to sky for just half and inch less than 380 feet, the dome shines like pure gold in the sunlight. The highly glazed tiles covering the dome are golden brown in color and were brought from China.
At the four points of the compass in the outer courtyyard are four Viharas (halls) containing image of Buddha in various postures. The Eastern Vihara shows the image of Buddha beneath a delicately painted. Pho tree which covers the entire wall behind the image and is very unusual. The inter room is a Royal Chapel containing an altar where the King pays homage. The Southern Vihara shows the image of Buddha protected by a serpent. The Western Vihara contains the image of Buddha in a reclining position, just before his death, surrounded by disciples, and an inner room contains yet another reclining image. The Northern Vihara, directly infront of the entrance and across from the frame building where the guides are located, contains a standing image Buddha. The ashes of King Vajiravudh are buried at the base of this image.
The Chedi, from the base, is a breath-taking sight. The first original structure, on this same site and now inside the Chedi, was built. It is believed by indianized Mon people and resembled the Indian Stupa of the third century era of King Asoke. During his reign, the first Buddhist Saints were send to spread Buddhism in the Kingdom of Suwannaphum, the first capital of that Kingdom being located on the site of present-day Nakhon Pathom. Later, when the area came under Khmer control, the Stupa was repaired and over-built with a Brahmin Prang, 130 feet high. During the reign of King Mongkut (Rama IV) in the middle 1800's, it was again over-built in its present Chedi-style structure. A replica of the original Stupa stands south of the present Chedi.
The Museum, nowadays at Rongdharm, contains a wealth of priceless relics. Many of the stone carvings and other articles are thousands of year old and much of it was found in and around Nakhon Pathom or the jungle nearby.
While still a Buddhist monk, King Mongkut had made a pilgrimage to Nakhon Pathom to visit the old ruined Prang. When he came upon the old structure he was deeoly impressed with the realization that this was the spot where Buddhism was first taught in Thailand. He thought undoubtedly there must be a Buddha's relic inside and he decided to have the Prang rebuilt. When he became King, he immediately ordered reparation commenced and the work started in 1853. He passed away before his dream of restoration came true but kings following him carried on the program.
An outer pavilion completely encircles a building, also circular, with the Chedi itself in the center. On the outside edge of the pavilion are mounds on which are growing the important trees connected with the life of the Buddha. One the inner side are small belfries spaced at intervals from which sweet-toned bells ring out from time. Stone images stand at attention before red lacquer moon-gate doors leading into the gallery. Other stones figures are carved to represent animals and some are the very old "Wheels of the Law" which were religious emblems prior to 143 B.C. when the images of Buddha were first carved. The Wheels were found in the immedidte area during excavations and prove, without a doubt, the age of the city.

  • Phuttha Monthon
    This is an important Buddhist place of worship occupying an area of 2,500 rai in the vicinity of Tambon Sala Ya, Amphoe Nokhon Chaisi and Tambon Bang Rathuk, Amphoe Sam Phran. Within the compound various types of trees are grown. Replicas of important places concerning Buddhism have been constructed, e.g., Lord Buddha's places of birth, gaining enlightenment, giving the first preaching sermon, and Nivana. Additionally, there is also a Buddha image in the attitude of walking name "Phra Si Sakkaya Thotsaphonyan Prathan Phuttha Monthon Suthat" which is considered as the highest in the world (40.688 meters) and is enshrined in the compound.
    The idea of building a Buddhist town was proposed that a holy city for Buddhists be established to mark the 25 th century of Buddhism in 1957. A 2,500-rai plot of land was obtained in Salaya, Nakhon Chaisri, and adjoining Bang rathuek in Samphran, Nakhon Pathom, and on July 29, 1995, His Majesty the King presided over a ceremony to lay the foundation stone of the religious site, to be called Phuttha Monthon, or Buddhist Circle.
    On December 21, 1982, Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhron represented His Majesty the King in presiding over a ceremony to install the main Buddha image, that of "Phra Si Sakkaya Thotsaphonyan Prathan Phuttha Monthon Suthat", at Phuttha Monthon. The monumental image was cast specially for the purpose.
    Phuttha Monthon has since served as the place of worship and center for dhamma practice on Buddhist holy days. Each year, Princess Sirindhron leads devout Buddhists in candle-lit processions around the site on Makhapuja, Asalhapuja, and Visakhapuja days.

  • Rose Garden (Country Resort & Thai Village Cultural Show
    Situated on Phetkasem Road about 32 kilometers from Bangkok. With the area over 60 acres, it facilitate beautiful lawns, gardens, orchards, a first class hotel with swimming pool, restaruants, children's playground and the world-renowed Thai Village Cultural Show which is presented each afternoon. There are for instance, Thai folk dancing, Thai boxing, cock fighting and sword fighting demonstrations. For more information and reservation, please contact Tel. (034) 295-3261.

  • Thai Human Imagery Museum
    Located at Km. 31, Pinklao-Nakhon Chaisi Road, the museum houses life-like sculptures created by a group of Thai artists, after 10 years of intensive study and hard work. These breathtaking fogures are displayed in four sections : "The Great Buddhist Monks", "Former Kings of the Chakri Dynasty", "One Side of Thai Life" and "Playing Chess".
    The museus is open to public from 9.00 A.M.- 5.3 P.M. on weekdays and 8.30 A.M.- 6.00 P.M. on Saturday, Sunday and official holidays. Admission fee is baht 140 (Tel. 034-211-6261)

  • Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo
    Only about 31 kilometers from Bangkok or 1 kilometer before reaching The Rose Garden, the Samphran Elephant Ground & Zoo offers tourists most spectacular show of handing tropical reptitles skilfullly, including the crocodile wrestling show between man and crocodile. The highlight of the place is the exciting "Elephant Theme Show" which perform two times daily. This Shows demonstrate the elephant round-up from the jungle the training of baby elephants, elephants at work and play, elephant racing and the most exciting of all, the Elephant War Parade where both men and beasts are dressed in beautiful costumes. For more information, please contact Tel. 034-284-1873, 284-0273.
  • Sanam Chan Palace and Ya-Le Monument
    This palace was constructed by the command of King Vajiravudh in the year 1907 when he was the Crown Prince of Thailand. It occupies an area of over 888 rai having Phraya Visavakam Silpa Prasit (Noi Silapi) as the designer. It was completed in the year 1911 having many important halls such as Phiman pathom, Phirom Phakdi, Wachari Romaya, Samakkhi Mukkhamat, etc. In addition there are also many buildings such as Chali Mongkhon At, Thap Kaeo, Thap Khwan, etc. At present all these buildings of Sanam Chan Palace are utilized as the Provincial Hall (the Sala Klang Changwat) of Nakhon Pathom.
    For Ya-Le Monument, it is the monument to Ya-Le, a cross breed dog, who was King Vajiravudh's favourite and had always accompanied him. One day Ya-Le was shot dead by an envious man and the King commanded to have a monument constructed as his commemmorative in front of Chali Mongkhon At Building in the compound of Sanam Chan Palace.