Suphan Buri Province in Central Thailand

 

Suphan Buri province Map, Central Thailand

Suphan Buri, formerly called Phanchum Buri, has been prosperous since the Dvaravati period. It was constructed during the years 877-882 A.D. on the left bank of Tha Chin River in the vicinity of Tambon Rua Yai adjacent to Tambon Phihan Daeng. Later when the Phanchum era ended, King Katae (half Thai-half Burmese) was crowned. After ascending to the throne, he commanded the town to be moved to the right bank of the Tha Chin River, to construct Wat Sanam Chai and to restore Wat Pa Leylai. He then persuaded 2,000 officials to enter the monkhood. The name of the town was then changed to be Song Phan Buri (city of two thousand). Still later, King U Thong moved the location to the southern bank (west of Tha Chin River). The city was given the new name of U Thong until the reign of King Khun Luang Pha Ngua when it was changed to Suphan Buri. Suphan Buri has been an important border town involving battles and wars. This caused damage through all ages until the Ratanakosin Era during the reign of King Rama VI. Then the Suphan Buri communities were consolidated and settled on the east bank of the Tha Chin River (Suphan River) as it is now.

Suphan Buri is located some 169 kilometers from Bangkok, approximately 100 kilometers on the Nonthahuri-Suphan Buri Highway. From the Khae Rai Intersection in Nonthaburi Province, it is only 72 kilometers. It occupies an area of 5,358 square kilometers and is administratively divided into 10 Amphoes: Muang, Doembang Nangbuat, Bang Pla Ma, Si Prachan, Song Phi Nong, Sam Chuk, U Thong, Don Chedi, Dan Chang and Nong Yasai.

What to see and what to do in Suphan Buri?

More : A recent travel account of Suphanburi (with pictures) : U Thong National Museum, Wat Pa Lelai, Wat Mahathat

Suphan Buri Tower : Rising to 123.25 meters in the middle of a public park in the heart of Suphan Buri, the tower offers a panoramic view of the town with exhibition center and souvenir shops inside.

Wat Pa Lelai is a very old monastery located near the west bank of Suphan River, two kilometers from the bank. It is generally called "Wat Pa" by the villagers. The Vihara houses a Buddha image named "Luang Pho To" in the attitude of leading a jungle life. The image, highly revered by the people, was formerly in the attitude of giving the first preaching sermon but was changed to the present attitude when it was renovated. Every year there are two worshipping fairs falling on the 5th to the 9th waxing moon days of the 5th and the 12th lunar months repectively.

Wat Phra Si Ratana Mahathat monastery is located in the vicinity of Tambon Rua Yai, Amphoe Muang on the bank of the Suphan River, 200-300 meters from the bridge crossing the river. It is locally called Wat Phrathat and is over 600 years old. The main attraction is a large prang housing the Lord Buddha's relics. It was probably built either during the reign of King U Thong (A,D,1350-1369) or the reign of King Ramathihodi II (A.D.1424-1448).

The Four Sacred Ponds named Sa Kaeo, Sa Kha, Sa Yomana and Sa Ket are located in Amphoe Muang near the Tha Wa River, 14 kilometers from the town. They are assumed to provide sacred water ever since the prosperous U Thong City era. Water from these four ponds has been utilized for various coronation ceremonies.

Sculpture, U Thong Museum, Suphanburi

Sculpture, U Thong Museum, Suphanburi

 

Don Chedi Monument is located in Tambon Don Chedi, Amphoe Si Prachan, 31 kilometers from the town. The pagoda was constructed by the royal command of King Naresuan the Great to commemorate his victory against King Maha Uparacha of Burma in single hand elephant back combat. Founded in 1913, in ruined condition, only the base part can be seen. In 1952, it was renovated, having a new pagoda built to cover the original one. A cast statue of King Naresuan the Great mounting the elephant's neck is in front of the pagoda. An annual fair celebrating the monument lasts seven days and seven nights commencing on the 25th of January (Royal Thai Armed Forces Day). The celebrations include historic shows, folk entertainment and shops selling all kinds of merchandise and services.

Wat Mahathat is called "Wat Phrathat Nok" by the villagers and is located in Tambon Suan Taeng, Amphoe U Thong, 15 kilometers from the town along Malaimaen Road. The main attraction is a small prang of early Ayutthaya period design having an interesting shape.

Wat Phai Rong Wua, Suphanburi

Wat Phai Rong Wua, Suphanburi

 

Wat Phai Rong Wua was built in the present era and is located in Tambon Bang Tathen on the bank of Khlong Phraya Banlue, Amphoe Song Phi Nong. It houses the largest metal cast Buddha image in the world. It is called "Phra Phutta Khodom" and has a lap width of 10 meters and a height of 26 meters. There are various sites concerning Buddhism, such as, the Three Season Palace of Prince Sitthattha, places of gaining enlightenment, giving the first preaching sermon, Nivarna (passing away stage) and the hell being community. The monastery is reached by Highway No. 321 to Amphoe Song Phi Nong with right turn to Wat Phai Rong Wua or take a boat trip from Tha Chang Landing, Bangkok, every Sunday at 07:00 hours.

 


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