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Nakhon Si Thammarat Municipality ( th, เทศบาลนครนครศรีธรรมราช, ; from Pali ''Nagara Sri Dhammaraja'') is a municipality (''
thesaban nakhon Thesaban ( th, เทศบาล, , ) are the municipalities of Thailand. There are three levels of municipalities: city, town, and sub-district. Bangkok and Pattaya are special municipal entities not included in the ''thesaban'' system. The mun ...
'') in
Southern Thailand Southern Thailand is a southernmost cultural region of Thailand ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Bangkok , coordinates = , large ...
, capital of the City of Nakhon Si Thammarat and the Nakhon Si Thammarat District. It is about south of
Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia Southeast Asia or Southeastern ...

Bangkok
, on the east coast of the
Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language f ...
. The city was the administrative center of southern Thailand during most of its history. Originally a coastal city, silting moved the coastline away from the city. The city has a much larger north to south extension than west to east, which dates back to its original location on a flood-save dune. The modern city centre on the train station is north of Old Town. As of 2019, the city had a population of 102,152.


Toponymy

Thai honorific ''Sri'' or ''Si'' is from
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
Sri Shri (; Devanagari Devanagari ( ; , , Sanskrit pronunciation: ), also called Nagari (),Kathleen Kuiper (2010), The Culture of India, New York: The Rosen Publishing Group, , page 83 is a left-to-right abugida, based on the ancient Brahmi ...
; , from
Dharma Dharma (; sa, धर्म, dharma, ; pi, dhamma, italic=yes; ta, aṟam, italic=yes) is a key concept with multiple meanings in Indian religions Indian religions, sometimes also termed Dharmic religions or Indic religions, are the s ...
; , from
Raja ''Raja'' (; from sa, राजन्, IAST The International Alphabet of Sanskrit Transliteration (IAST) is a transliteration scheme that allows the lossless romanisation Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguis ...

Raja
. ''Dhammaraja'' means "righteous ruler", an important
Theravada Theravāda (; Pāli Pali () is a Middle Indo-AryanIndo-Aryan refers to: * Indo-Aryan languages ** Indo-Aryan superstrate in Mitanni or Mitanni-Aryan * Indo-Aryan peoples, the various peoples speaking these languages See also *Aryan inva ...
concept.


History

Nakhon Si Thammarat is one of the oldest cities in Thailand with a rich history. The earliest settlement in the vicinity of the city was Tha Rua, about ten kilometers south of the modern city, where ceramics from the
Song dynasty The Song dynasty (; ; 960–1279) was an imperial dynasty of China that began in 960 and lasted until 1279. The dynasty was founded by Emperor Taizu of Song Emperor Taizu of Song (21 March 927 – 14 November 976), personal name Zhao Kua ...
were found dated to the twelfth century. The settlement then moved to Muang Phra Wieng, which was associated with the Tambralinga Kingdom, four kilometers to the south. An inscription was found at Wat Sema Muang that bore: The king of
Srivijaya Srivijaya (, ; , ) was a Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay langu ...
"had established a foothold on the
Malay Peninsula The Malay Peninsula (Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay language f ...
at Ligor" by 775, where he "built various edifices, including a sanctuary dedicated to the
Buddha Gautama Buddha, popularly known as the Buddha (also known as Siddhattha Gotama or Siddhārtha Gautama or Buddha Shakyamuni), was an ascetic Asceticism (; from the el, ἄσκησις ''áskesis'', "exercise, training") is a lifestyle ...

Buddha
and to the
Bodhisattva In Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware o ...

Bodhisattva
s Padmapani and
Vajrapani (Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its p ...

Vajrapani
." Tambralinga, whose name means "Red
Linga A lingam ( sa, लिङ्ग , lit. "sign, symbol or mark"), sometimes referred to as linga or Shiva linga, is an abstract or aniconic Aniconism is the absence of material representations of both the natural and supernatural worlds in variou ...

Linga
" (from
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...
''tām(b)ra'' "
copper Copper is a chemical element In chemistry, an element is a pure Chemical substance, substance consisting only of atoms that all have the same numbers of protons in their atomic nucleus, nuclei. Unlike chemical compounds, chemical elem ...

copper
" and ''lingam'') and may relate to Chinese ''Tan Ma Ling'' (單馬令), was one of the polities under
Mahayanist Mahāyāna (; "Great Vehicle") is a term for a broad group of Buddhist traditions, texts, philosophies, and practices. Mahāyāna is considered one of the two main existing branches of Buddhism Buddhism (, ) is the Major religious groups#L ...
Srivijaya thalassocracy. The ''Chronicles of Nakorn Si Thammarat'', composed in the seventeenth century, attributed the foundation of current city of Nakhon Si Thammarat to King Sri Thammasok in the thirteenth century. An inscription found at Chaiya stated that King Sri Thammasok ruled Tambralinga in 1231. King Sri Thammasok constructed
Wat Phra Mahathat Wat Phra Mahathat Woramahawihan ( th, วัดพระมหาธาตุวรมหาวิหาร) is the main Buddhism, Buddhist temple (wat) of Nakhon Si Thammarat Province in southern Thailand. The main stupa of the temple, Phra Borom ...

Wat Phra Mahathat
and introduced Singhalese
Theravada Buddhism Theravāda (; Pāli Pali () is a Middle Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan liturgical language native to the Indian subcontinent. It is widely studied because it is the language of the ''Pāli Canon'' or ''Tripiṭaka, Tipiṭaka'' as wel ...
. The
Nakhon Si Thammarat Kingdom Nakhon Si Thammarat Kingdom ( th, อาณาจักรนครศรีธรรมราช ), Nagara Sri Dharmarashtra or Kingdom of Ligor, was one of the major constituent city states (''mueang Mueang ( th, เมือง ''mɯ̄ang'', ...
held authorities over "twelve cities" that extended from
Chumphon Chumphon ( th, ชุมพร, ) is a town (''thesaban mueang'') in southern Thailand ) , royal_anthem = '' Sansoen Phra Barami''( en, "Glorify His prestige") , image_map = , map_caption = , capital = Bangkok , ...
to the north and
Pahang Pahang (; ms, ڤهڠ, label=JawiJawi may refer to: People and languages *Australia: **Jawi dialect, a nearly extinct Australian aboriginal language **Jawi people, an Australian Aboriginal people of the Kimberley coast of Western Australia, ...

Pahang
to the south. The
Ramkamhaeng Stele The Ram Khamhaeng Inscription, formally known as Sukhothai Inscription No. 1, is a stone stele A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but ...
of Sukhothai first mentioned "Nakhon Si Thammarat" in 1292, which means "The City of King Sri Thammasok" or "The City of the Virtuous king". The Nakhon Si Thammarat kingdom ended and the city perished in the fourteenth century. The ruler of
Phetchaburi Phetchaburi ( th, เพชรบุรี, ) or Phet Buri () is a town (''thesaban mueang Thesaban ( th, เทศบาล, , ) are the municipalities of Thailand. There are three levels of municipalities: city, town, and sub-district. Bangkok ...
known as Phra Phanom Thale sent his son Phra Phanom Wang to re-establish the city and rule. Nakhon Si Thammarat then came under the influence of Central Siamese under the mandala system. Nakhon Si Thammarat was further incorporated into Ayutthaya, who appointed governors to the city, through centralization under King Trailokanat in the fifteenth century. Nakhon Si Thammarat served as the main seat of Siamese authority over Southern Thailand and the Malay Peninsula, becoming ''Muang Ek'' or first-level city. Nakhon Si Thammarat was known of Western sources as "Ligor", which was derived from the term "Nakhon".
Yamada Nagamasa ) , commands= , battles= , awards= , laterwork= , module = was a Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...
, the Japanese adventurer, was appointed as the governor of Ligor in 1629. In the 1680s, during the reign of King
Narai King Narai the Great ( th, สมเด็จพระนารายณ์มหาราช, , ) or Ramathibodi III ( th, รามาธิบดีที่ ๓ ) was the 27th monarch of Kingdom of Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya Kingdom, the 4th and ...
, M. de Lamare the French architect renovated the city walls. After the
Siamese revolution of 1688 The Siamese revolution of 1688 was a major popular upheaval in the Siamese Ayutthaya Kingdom (modern Thailand) which led to the overthrow of the pro-French Siamese king Narai. The Mandarin Phetracha, previously one of Narai's trusted military ad ...
, the governor of Ligor rebelled against the new King
Phetracha Phetracha (alternative spellings: ''Bedraja'', ''P'etraja'', ''Petraja'', ''Petratcha''; also called ''Phra Phetracha''; th, เพทราชา, ; 1632– 5 February 1703) was a monarch, king of the Ayutthaya kingdom in Thailand, usurping the ...
. King Phetracha sent troops to put down rebels in Ligor in 1692. The powers of the governors of Ligor was then curbed and Ligor was put under the authority of ''Samuha Kalahom'' the Prime Minister of Southern Siam. After the
Fall of Ayutthaya Autumn, also known as fall in American English and Canadian English, is one of the four temperate seasons. Outside the tropics, autumn marks the transition from summer to winter, in September (Northern Hemisphere) or March (Southern Hemisphe ...
in 1767, Phra Palat Nu the vice-governor of Ligor established himself as the local warlord and ruler over Southern Thailand.
King Taksin King Taksin the Great ( th, สมเด็จพระเจ้าตากสินมหาราช, , ) or the King of Thonburi ( th, สมเด็จพระเจ้ากรุงธนบุรี, ; ; Teochew: Dên Chao; Vietnamese ...
of
Thonburi __NOTOC__ Thonburi ( th, ธนบุรี) is an area of modern Bangkok Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom ...
marched south to subjugate Phra Palat Nu or ''Chao Phraya'' Nakhon Nu in 1769. ''Chao Phraya'' Nakhon Nu was taken to Thonburi but King Taksin re-installed Nakhon Nu as a tributary ruler of Ligor in 1776. King
Rama I Phra Phutthayotfa Chulalok Maharaj (, 20 March 1737 – 7 September 1809), personal name Thongduang (), also known as Rama I, was the founder of the Rattanakosin Kingdom and the first Monarchy of Thailand, monarch of the reigning Chakri dynas ...

Rama I
re-established the governorship of Ligor in 1784 and it ceded to be a tributary kingdom. During the Burmese-Siamese War in 1786, the city of Ligor was sacked by the invading Burmese. During the tenure of ''Chao Phraya'' Nakhon Noi (1811-1838), known in British sources as the "Raja of Ligor", Ligor retained a relative autonomy and emerged as the political and cultural center of Southern Siam. mentioned that the city of Ligor had the population of 150,000 people, perhaps the largest city in southern Siam before being surpassed by
Surat Thani Surat Thani ( th, สุราษฎร์ธานี, ) is a city in Amphoe Mueang Surat Thani, Surat Thani Province, southern Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Ki ...
and
Hatyai Hat Yai ( th, หาดใหญ่, , also Haad Yai or Had Yai) is a city in southern Thailand near the Malaysian border. Located at , it is south of Bangkok, and has a population of 156,802 (2019) in the city itself and about 800,000 in the g ...

Hatyai
in modern times. After Nakhon Noi, his son and grandson became respective governors of Nakhon Si Thammarat. During the reforms of
King Chulalongkorn Chulalongkorn, also known as King Rama V, reigning title Phra Chula Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua) (Thai language, Thai: จุฬาลงกรณ์; Royal Thai General System of Transcription, RTGS: Chunlalongkorn ; 20 September 1853 – 23 October ...

King Chulalongkorn
, the traditional governorship of Ligor was abolished and the city was incorporated into the Monthon Nakhon Si Thammarat 1896. When the
monthon''Monthon'' ( th, มณฑล) were administrative subdivisions of Thailand at the beginning of the 20th century. The Thai word ''monthon'' is a translation of the word ''mandala'' (', literally "circle A circle is a shape consisting of all po ...
system was abolished in 1932, the town became a provincial capital.


Climate

Nakhon Si Thammarat has a
tropical rainforest climate A tropical rainforest climate or equatorial climate is a tropical climate Tropical climate is one of the five major climate groups in the . Tropical climates are characterized by monthly average temperatures of 18 °C (64.4 °F) or hi ...
(
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
''Af''). The city is more subject to the Intertropical Convergence Zone than the
trade wind The trade winds or easterlies are the permanent east-to-west prevailing winds that flow in the Earth's equatorial region. The trade winds blow mainly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of E ...
s but experiences a few
cyclone In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw mo ...

cyclone
s so is not purely equatorial but subequatorial. Temperatures remain very warm to hot throughout the year. While some rain falls in all months, it is drier in February and March when about of rain falls in each month, and wetter in October to December when very heavy rain may fall; November sees of rain on average each year.


Administration

Nakhon Si Thammarat was established as a sanitation (''sukhaphiban'') on 5 September 1913, with an area of 3.0 km2. The sanitation changed to town municipality (''
thesaban mueang Thesaban ( th, เทศบาล, , ) are the municipalities of Thailand Thailand ( th, ประเทศไทย), historically known as Siam, () officially the Kingdom of Thailand, is a country in Southeast Asia. It is located at the ...
'') on 11 December 1935. The municipality was increased to 11.72 km2. on 10 November 1965, and up to 22.56 km2. on 10 December 1993. The status was upgraded to city municipality (''
thesaban nakhon Thesaban ( th, เทศบาล, , ) are the municipalities of Thailand. There are three levels of municipalities: city, town, and sub-district. Bangkok and Pattaya are special municipal entities not included in the ''thesaban'' system. The mun ...
'') on 25 August 1994. The administration consists of five subdistricts, 63 communities, 102,152 people in 46,145 households.


Points of interest


Wat A wat ( km, វត្ត, ; lo, ວັດ, ; th, วัด, ; khb, 「ᩅᨯ᩠ᨰ」(waD+Dha); nod, 「ᩅ᩠ᨯ᩶」 (w+Da2)) is a type of Buddhist temple and Brahminical temple in Cambodia, Laos, East Shan State, Yunnan and Thailand. ...
Phra Mahathat Vihan (Thai วัดพระมหาธาตุวรมหาวิหาร) is the most important temple of Nakhon Si Thammarat and southern Thailand. It was constructed at the time of the founding of the town, and contains a tooth
relic In religion, a relic is an object or article of religious significance from the past, it usually consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration Veneratio ...

relic
of Buddha. The 78 m high is surrounded by 173 smaller ones. While the chedi is now in
Sri Lanka Sri Lanka (, ; si, ශ්‍රී ලංකාව, Śrī Laṅkā, translit-std=ISO (); ta, இலங்கை, Ilaṅkai, translit-std=ISO ()), formerly known as Ceylon, and officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, is ...

Sri Lanka
n style, it is said to be built on top of an earlier
Srivijaya Srivijaya (, ; , ) was a Malay Malay may refer to: Languages * Malay language or Bahasa Melayu, a major Austronesian language spoken in Indonesia, Malaysia, Brunei and Singapore ** History of the Malay language#Old Malay, the Malay langu ...
style chedi. The chedi was renovated in early 2009 and now appears like new. At the base of the chedi is a gallery named ''Viharn Tap Kaset'', decorated with many Buddha statues and elephant heads emerging from the chedi. ''Viharn Phra Song Ma'' are the buildings which contain the staircase which leads to a walkway around the chedi above the gallery. At the bottom of the staircase are demon giants (
yak The domestic yak (''Bos grunniens'') is a type of long-haired domesticated Domestication is a sustained multi-generational relationship in which one group of organisms assumes a significant degree of influence over the reproduction and care o ...

yak
) as guardians. Adjoining to the north is the ''Viharn Kien'', which contains a small temple museum. South of the chedi is the large
ubosot The ordination hall is a Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social wh ...
building, the ''Viharn Luang''. Monk living quarters are across the street in a separate temple, Wat Na Phra Boromathat. The chedi is the symbol of the Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, present on the seal of the province. It is also displayed on the 25 satang coin.


City wall

The city chronicle mentions a fortification when the town was refounded in 1278. Restorations were recorded at the time of King Ramesuan (14th century), as well as King
Narai King Narai the Great ( th, สมเด็จพระนารายณ์มหาราช, , ) or Ramathibodi III ( th, รามาธิบดีที่ ๓ ) was the 27th monarch of Kingdom of Ayutthaya, Ayutthaya Kingdom, the 4th and ...
(1686). The latter was supported by the French engineer M. de la Mare. The walls spread 456 m from east to west, and 2238 m north to south, thus enclosing an area of about one square kilometre. The northern wall had only one gate, called ''Prathu Chai Nua'' or ''Prathu Chai Sak''. The southern wall had only one gate. To the east there were three gates, which connected the town with the sea. To the west were five gates. Today only the northern gate still exists, together with a short stretch of the northern city wall.


Educational institutions

Kindergarten and primary schools: Anuban Na Nakhon Utit School is a government-run school with kindergarten through grade 6. The school operates both Thai and English programmes. Sithammarat Suksa School is the largest kindergarten and primary school. They offer nursery-grade 6 classes on all three campuses in the city. They also offer the largest English program housed on a separate campus. Sithammart Suksa is often referred to as "Sirat" "AMC" or "EP AMC". Secondary schools: Nakhon Si Thammarat has three large schools: Benjamarachutit School and Kanlayanee Si Thammarat School, both public secondary schools with grades 7 to 12, and Sithammarat Suksa School, the largest private pre-kindergarten through grade 12 school. Vocational Colleges: Nakhon Si Thammarat has numerous vocational colleges, the most notable being Nakhon Si Thammaratt Technical College (Technic), and Nakhon Si Thammarat Vocational college (Acheewa). Universities: Nakhon Si Thammarat has two universities: Walailak University (the largest university in Thailand) and Nakhon Si Thammarat Rajaphat University.


Museums

*Nakhon Si Thammarat National Museum


References

*Stuart Munro-Hay. ''Nakhon Sri Thammarat – The Archaeology, History and Legends of a Southern Thai Town''.


External links

* {{Authority control Nakhon Si Thammarat, Populated places in Nakhon Si Thammarat province Cities and towns in Thailand