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07 June 2007

Wat Phra Mahathat

Wat Phra Mahathat temple is located on Ratchadamnoen Road in Tambon Nai Muang, Amphue Meuang of Nakhon Si Thammarat province. This is one of the most important historical sites in Southern Thailand. The stupa, 55.78m high, has a distinctive Sri Lankan style. The top of the spire is entirely covered in 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 garbed in royal attire - Phra Si Thamma Sokarat is housed. There are also the Phra Maha Phinetkrom (the equestrian image) building and the Thap Kaset building; while the Khian and Pho Lanka buildings are used to display artifacts donated to the temple by Buddhists from the whole region.
Over the doorway at the entrance of Wat Phra Mahathat in Nakhon Si Thammarat, there are the statutes of Tao Kadtukam and Tao Ramathep, the guardian deities of holy relics of the Buddha. The name of one deity is Tao Kadtukam, which later people understand that he is none other than Jatukam.
There are many stories on how the City Pillar (Lak Meuang) and the first Jatukam amulets were made. One story tells of Police Maj Gen Sanpetch Thammikun, the provincial police chief during the 1980s, going to Wat Nang Phraya during a shamanistic ritual. The medium, a woman, told the policeman to come back. When he did come back later the woman wasn't there, but had been replaced by a new medium claiming to be the spirit of the military leader for the B.E. 17th century Nakhon Si Thammarat king.

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