History

Ground-Floor Khon Kaen History Murals at Wat Nong Wang

Posted on
mural of bueng bon lake

The ground-floor murals inside Wat Nong Wang’s Phra Mahathat Kaen Nakhon stupa show both Khon Kaen history and Isan culture. This twin theme was suggested by the abbot, Phra Tama Wisut Tajan, and the murals were painted by local artist Kru Thammarong Kawboran. My thanks to Kru Thammarong for discussing the meanings of the pictures, and pointing out some of the specific things depicted in them – many have fun… Read More

History

Tham Sam Rock Art

Posted on
wall of paintings at Tham Sam cave

A very unusual rock art site, Tham Sam cave (ถ้ำซำ) has a long wall covered with large paintings of people. These have no connection or resemblance to the many ancient cave paintings found around the region except that both are made with natural pigments – probably derived from tree sap. These consist entirely of red, white, and black and the lively results from the limited palate are a testament to… Read More

History

Kao Kuha Caves

Posted on
both Kao Kuha Caves

In ancient times, Indian merchants managed much of the trade in the parts of the Malay Peninsula that are now part of Thailand, including trans-shipment routes through Songkhla, and there were many Indian settlements. One of them was at the foot of Kao Kuha hill, between the ocean and Songkhla Lake, where two Hindu “cave” shrines were carved into an east-facing cliff. Evidence is scarce, but it’s assumed that they… Read More

History

English Translation of the Ramkhamhaeng Inscription

Posted on
Ramkhamhaen inscription

My father was named Sri Indraditya, my mother was named Nang Suang, and my elder brother was named Ban Muang. There were five of us born from the same womb: three boys and two girls. My eldest brother died when he was still a child. When I was nineteen years old, Khun Sam Chon, the ruler of Mae Sot, came to raid Tak. My father went to fight Khun Sam… Read More

History

About the Ramkhamhaeng Inscription

Posted on
illustration of script from the Ramkhamhaen inscription

The Ramkhamhaeng Inscription, aka Sukhothai Inscription One, was found in 1833 by Prince Mongkut, the future King Rama IV, while he was still a monk. He found it in the area where most historians assume that the royal palace once stood. The inscription is a squat four-sided pillar rather than the typical slab shape and is 114.5cm tall with each side 35.5cm wide. The first and second sides have 35 lines… Read More

History

Khon Kaen’s Seven City Pillar Shrines

Posted on
Fourth Khon Kaen city pillar shrine, at Ban Nontan

Khon Kaen city moved location several times during its first century of existence, and whenever there was a move, the leader built a new city pillar shrine. So, besides the large, modern main city pillar shrine in the city center, there are six other shrines in and around Mueang Khon Kaen that once served this duty. The years given here come from the book The History of Khon Kaen by… Read More