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Prathat Nadoon - Maha Sarakam
Author : Chris Jones
Prathat Nadoon



Situated 470 kilometers from Bangkok, Maha Sarakham is a small province in the North East part of Thailand. Being the educational hub of the region, this place is also known as "Taksila of Isan". Maha Sarakham is famous for its historical sites
Maha Srakam is one of the most important sites of ancient property in the Thai Kingdom, apart from several ancient Khmer style chedi, there have been numerous  discoveries of ancient amulets and antiques.
It was at Nadoon, a district of the province, that some of the most beautiful amulets were unearthed in an ancient kru, such as the 1,000 year old pims from a cell named “Kru Pra Boromthat Nadoon”.
It was recorded that more than 40 different Pims were discovered including Pim Lila, Pim, Pim Prok Koo, Pim Prok Koo Tuddiaw, Pim Pratanporn, Pim Patiharn, Pim Si lium, Pim Vow Chula, Pim Si Mum Merng, Pim Sam Liuam, Pim Mokala, Pim Salibutr, etc. The Buddha amulets from Maha Sarakham's Nadoon Stupa were excavated in 1979 and are believed to have been made by royal craftsmen 1,000 to 1,300 years ago.
The land on which the  ancient Kru was found is owned by Mr. Tongdi Pavaputa, a local of Nadoon District, who said that his family had lived there for generations.
He revealed that the Kru lay undisturrbed for more than a thousand years , no one noticing it until the day that he had by chance dug into the ground at the base of a low rise hill. He located the chedi which was later named Phrathat Nadoon.”.

Pra Boromthat Nadoon, or Prathat Nadoon, is situated on a base approximately 1 metre higher than the surrounding ground.
It is located near Merng Boran, an ancient town of the province  where other ancient Khmer-style buildings  such as Ku Santarat, Sala Nangkhao and Ku Noi can be found.
Note: Ku and Kru are not the same, Ku referes to an ancient Khmer-style chedi or castle but Kru means cell or cells where sacred amulets were retained.
It is assumed that Prathat Nadoon is part of the old town as it is located about 500 metres away from Ku Santarat, where several other sacred artifacts were previously discovered.
It is also recorded that on June 8th, B.E.2522, sacred relics of Lord Buddha were discovered in this area.
The relics, similar in appearance to  broken white rice, were kept in a stupa, which also filled inside with a kind of Thai fragrant oil called Nam Man Jun. When the stupa was first opened, there was a fragrant aroma that filled the air even after 1,000 years.

The majority of the 40 recorded pims were designed in classical Davaravadi art, often featuring Lord Buddha sitting under Bhoti tree.
Most of Davaravadi-period artisans usually designed Buddhist Images which told the history of Lord Buddha and many of their designs have become prototypes of later day amulets.

It is believed that at least some of amulets found at Kru Pra Boromtart Nadoon were created by Indians, not Thais, who provbably entered the northeastern part of Thai Kingdom through the Chee and Moon rivers during period B.E.1200-B.E.1500.

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