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Nakhon Pathom History, Thailand

Nakhon Pathom is a central province (changwat) in Thailand. Its neighboring provinces include Suphan Buri, Nontha Buri, Samut Sakhon, Kanchana Buri, Ratcha Buri, Bangkok and Ayutthaya. The most attractive feature of the province is the ‘Phra Pathom Chedi’ which is a religious landmark of Thailand signifying Buddhism influx into the country of Thailand. The province is also famous worldwide for its abundant varieties of famous dishes and fruits.

As far as the history of the place is concerned, the name of Nakhon Pathom is derived from ‘Nagara Pathama’ in Pali language, which means ‘First city’. Thus, it is usually referred to as the earliest city in Thailand. It was previously a significant center of the Dvaravati kingdom from 6th to 11th centuries. However, it can be even older than that. Some of the historians have speculated that the city dates back to 3rd century BC when the Indian Buddhist missionaries visited here. The Dvaravati kingdom of early Thai was absorbed by Subharnaburi and Lavo kingdoms and the people there used the Mon language. There are evidences that the kingdom had more than one race which included Khmer and Malays. Very little has been known about the kingdom’s administration. The major settlements seem to have been U Thong, Nakhon Pathom and Khu Bua. Other towns such as Lavo or Si Thep are also clearly known to be influenced by Dvaravati culture, which was again highly influenced by the Indian culture.

Initially, Nakhon Pathom used to be a coastal city but due to Chao Phraya River’s sedimentation, the line of coast moved at a distance from the place. When course of Tha Chin River was changed, the city did not receive any water and thus was deserted. The population was bound to move to a new city known as Sirichai or Nakhon Chaisi. In 1870, the population was moved back to the older city by King Mongkut (Rama IV) as the Phra Pathom Chedi restoration was completed.

Major migrations of population into the Nakhon Pathom Province include emigration of masses during and also after the kingdom of King Buddha Loetla Nabhalai (Rama II) from Khmer villages (for example Don Yai Hom village), Lao Song villages and Lanna (Bann Nua) (for example Don Kanak village) and also a huge influx of the southern Chinese in the late 1800 and early 1900. At present, Nakhon Pathom has been attracting migrations from other parts of the country also, especially migrant workers from Bangkok, Burma and North-eastern Thailand.

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