Nakhon Si Tammarat, places to visit around the Province
Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan is on Ratchadamnoen Road in Tambon Nai Muang. This
is a royal temple of the first class. Formally named Wat Phra Borom That, this is
one of the most important historical sites in southern Thailand and in all Thailand.
According to the legend of Phra Borom That Nakhon Si Thammarat, Prince Thanakuman
and Queen Hem Chala were the ones who took Buddha relics to Hat Sai Kaeo and built
a small pagoda to mark the location. Later on, King Si-Thamma Sokarat established
the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and built a new pagoda. The present pagoda has a
distinctive Sri Lankan style. It is 55.78 metres high (measured by the Fine Arts
Department during the renovation of the gold top in 1995). The height from the lotus
base to the gold top is 6.80 metres. The top is entirely covered by pure gold. Inside
the temple are many buildings of importance, especially the royal building which
has beautiful architecture from the Ayutthaya period and the Sam Chom building where
the Buddha image attired in royal wardrobe Phra Si Thamma Sokarat is housed. There
are also the Phra Maha Phinetkrom (the equestrian image) building, the Thap Kaset
building, while the Khian and Pho Lanka buildings are used to display artifacts donated
to the temple by Buddhists.
Ho Phra Isuan is on Ratchadamnoen Road. It is a historical site of the Brahman religion.
It has on display the Shiva Linga which is the symbol of Shiva, the Brahman god.
There are also several bronze images such as the Siwa Nattarat image, Phra Uma and
Phra Phikkhanet. The bronze images in this hall are replicas of the real images that
are in Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum.
Ho Phra Narai is also on Ratchadamnoen Road and another Brahman place of worship
opposite Ho Phra Isuan. The original structure and design of this hall is unknown.
However, a grey sandstone image of the god Narai wearing a hat and holding a conch
in the right hand was discovered in the hall. It is estimated that it dates from
the 11th-12th Buddhist century. This image is now in the National Museum in town.
The only artefact on display in the hall is a replica of the Narai image discovered
at an archaeological dig in Amphoe Sichon.
Phra Wihan Sung is an important historical site located just outside the ancient
city wall to the north in the area of Sanam Na Mueang, on Ratchadamnoen Road. The
site is so called because of its high location on a hill 2.10 metres above level
ground. There is no exact historical evidence but it is believed that its architecture
and wall murals are from the early Rattanakosin period. The building houses plaster
images with a fat clay core. The images are either from the 23rd-24th Buddhist century
or from the late Ayutthaya period.