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Article Date : 30 November 2013
Article Author : Chris Jones

Sukhothai era Amulets and Temples 

Sukhothai era votive tablets refer to those amulets created during a period in Thai history known as the Sukhothai period. A powerful kingdom covering most of Thailand before it became a vassal of Ayuthaya by 1378.

The term Sukhothai in this context does not refer exclusively to amulets found in the present day Thai province of Sukhothai.  Sukhothai period amulets can be found in many provinces such as Pitsanulok, Kamphangphet etc.

Conversely you should also be aware that many later period amulets and tablets are also to be found in Sukhothai province, however the most valuable are those which were created during the corresponding era.

Sukhothai, meaning the Dawn of Happiness, was a town founded in the 13th century on the fringe of the Khmer Empire. The exact year is unknown but according to the Fine Arts Office it was between 1238 and 1257. Founded by Phokhun Si Intharathit, it was the first truly independent Thai (Siamese) Kingdom after defeating the Khmers.

Sukhothai enjoyed a golden age under their third king, King Ramkhamhaeng who was credited with creating the Khmer-derived Thai alphabet which is essentially the same as that in use today. He also laid the foundation for politics, the monarchy and religion, as well as expanding its boundary of influence. Sukhothai was later ruled by many kings.

The province is most famous for the city of Sukhothai the capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom.The province was at first known as Sawankhalok, it was renamed to Sukhothai in 1939.

Sukhothai era votive tablets  were probably stamped strictly by monks and were then installed in stupa as part of a consecration ceremony. Interestingly tablets stamped from exactly the same mould have been recovered in many different temples in and outside of Sukhothai province, suggesting that monks may have carried their own moulds and stamped tablets as part of religious practice such as meditation and merit-making while wandering from place to place.

Amulet Collectors believe that most Sukhothai votive tablets, large or small, were made during the reign of King Lithai in the latter half of the fourteenth century.

The king was an avid Buddhist who towards the end of his reign, abdicated the throne to become a monk. It is likely that amulet dealers created this story about the production of tablets to increase their desirability

The Buddhist art and iconography that came with the popularity of Theravada Buddhism in the Sukhothai era strongly influenced other Thai periods.

 

Sukhothai Province


Within City Walls
 
The Royal Palace and Wat Mahathat
Wat Saphan Hin
Wat Aranyik
Wat Chang Rop
Wat Chedi Ngam
Wat Tham Hip
Phra Ruang Dam
Wat Mangkon
Wat Phra Yun
Wat Pa Ma Muang

Outside City Walls - North
 
Wat Phra Phai Luang  
Wat Sangkhawat
Wat Hin Tang
Wat Khung Wai
Wat Si Chum


Outside City Walls - South
   

Wat Chetuphon
Wat Si Phichit Kirati Kanlayaram
Wat Wihan Thong
Wat Asokaram
Wat Mumlangka


Outside City Walls - East

Wat Chang Lom
Wat Thraphang Thong Lang
Wat Chedi Sung
Wat Hot Phayom
Wat Ko Mai Daeng


Amphur Si Satchanalai (Sawankhalok) during Ayutthaya Period

 
Si Satchanalai Historical Park- World Heritage Site
Wat Chang Lom
Wat Khao Panom Phloeng
Wat Chedi Chet Thaeo
Wat Kao Hong
Wat Suan Kaeo Utthayan Noi
Wat Nang Phaya
Wat Khao Phanom Phloeng
Wat Khao Suwan Khiri
Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat