Nakhon Pathom : Phra Pathom Chedi, National Museum, Sanam Chand Palace
Our trip will take us to the West and slightly to the North of Bangkok. The itinerary includes Nakhon Pathom, Kanchanaburi and Suphanburi provinces.
Nakhon Pathom is located just 56 km west of Bangkok. This does not necessarily means it is overly easy to reach. You can go by bus from the Southern bus terminal in Bangkok (Thonburi) or by train from Bangkok Noi train station (Thonburi).
Nakhon Pathom is widely known for the large Phra Pathom Chedi. Reportedly it is the world's tallest Buddhist monument. Phra Pathom Chedi has a history going back many centuries. Its last major modifications and rebuilding occurred during the reign of King Mongkut around 1860 A.D.
Nakhon Pathom (translated 'First City') was the centre of a Dvaravati Kingdom, a collection of city states that flourished between the 6th and 11th centuries A.D.
Prior to that period, it is believed that Asoka the Great of India (3rd century B.C.) sent missions to present day Nakhon Pathom area, and as such Nakhon Pathom became a gateway for the spread of Buddhism. The original Phra Pathom Chedi was probably the oldest Buddhist monument in the country.
Stone carving of scene from the Buddha's life. Dvaravati art 7th-11th century A.D.
Phra Pathom Chedi National Museum (Nakhon Pathom)
Original found at Wat Sai, Nakhon Pathom
The provincial National Museum (Phra Pathom Chedi National Museum) offers a pleasant experience with a good layout, well presented exhibits, and pleasant spacious surroundings. Unfortunately, it is not allowed to take pictures inside the museum buildings.
The 'Wheel of Life' (Dharmacakra) was originally positioned on a high pillar and placed in temple compounds.
The Dharmacakra symbolizes the first sermon of the Buddha, as well as the teachings of the Buddha at other occasions.
It should be remembered that sculptures or images of the Lord Buddha were not made during the first centuries of Buddhism.
Phra Pathom Chedi National Museum
Another attraction close to the centre of Nakhon Pathom is the Sanam Chand Palace. It was build by Crown Prince Vajiravuth (Rama VI) in 1907.
Sanam Chand Palace.
The architectural design of the buildings at Sanam Chand Palace are European influenced. As such, the buildings have some resemblance to the Wimanmek Palace of Rama V (King Chulalongkorn) in Bangkok.
King Vajiravudh loved poetry and literature, and was a prolific playwright. His plays and translations of Shakespeare's work were (and are) regularly performed at Sanam Chand Palace.
Sanam Chand Palace offers very pleasant and green surroundings, interesting architecture and exhibitions of contemporary life at the palace.
Sanam Chand Palace