Lopburi City Gate, from old to new city
Map of Thailand highlighting Lop Buri Province
|• Governor||Chatchai Phromloet (since October 2009)|
|• Total||6,199.8 km2 (2,393.8 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 37th|
|• Rank||Ranked 30th|
|• Density||120/km2 (320/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 38th|
|• HDI (2009)||0.742 (medium) (35th)|
|Time zone||ICT (UTC+7)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-16|
Lopburi (Thai: ลพบุรี, rtgs: Lop Buri, pronounced [lóp bū.rīː]) is a province in the central region of Thailand. The province is subdivided into 11 administrative districts, and Mueang Lopburi District is the capital. With over 750,000 people, the province is Thailand's 37th largest area and 38th most populous. There are six neighboring provinces, Phetchabun, Nakhon Sawan, Phranakhon Si Ayutthaya, Saraburi, Nakhon Ratchasima, Chaiyaphum, Singburi, and Nakhon Sawan.
Lopburi is a significant province historically, where many historical structures, artifacts, and prehistoric settlements have been discovered. In the past, Lopburi was called by the name ‘Lavo, that is, the kingdom had been ruled by an absolute monarch.
Known as Lavo during much of its history, Lopburi probably dates to prehistoric times. The name Lavo originated in the Dvaravati period (6th–11th century CE). The conquering Khmer would build many impressive temples in the city during its rule. Lopburi may even have liberated itself for a time, as it sent independent embassies to China in 1115 and 1155. In 1289 it sent another embassy to China, but soon became part of the Thai kingdom of Sukhothai and later Ayutthaya.
During the Ayutthaya period, King Ramathibodi I sent Phra Ramesuan (later King Ramesuan) as the Uparaja to reign in Lopburi. In 1665 King Narai the Great ordered a new palace built on the east bank of the Lopburi River and made Lopburi the second capital of the country, as Ayutthaya was threatened by the Dutch. After King Narai died, the city was almost abandoned and fell into ruin.
In 1856 King Mongkut of the Chakri dynasty ordered King Narai's palace to be renovated. The city finally regained its importance in 1938, when Field Marshal Plaek Phibunsongkhram chose Lopburi to be the largest military base in Thailand.
Lopburi is on the east side of the Chao Phraya River valley, between the Lopburi River and Pa Sak Rivers. Thirty percent of the area of the province, including most of Tha Wung district, the southwestern parts of Mueang Lopburi and Ban Mi districts are a very low alluvial plain. The other 70 percent is mixed plains and hills, with the Phetchabun Mountains forming the eastern boundary of the province towards the Khorat Plateau.
|Climate data for Lop Buri (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||32.9
|Average low °C (°F)||21.1
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||5.7
|Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||1||2||2||6||13||14||16||17||19||13||4||1||108|
|Average relative humidity (%)||63||65||66||69||75||76||77||78||81||77||66||60||71.1|
|Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Rainfall mm, Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)|
The escutcheon of Lopburi shows Phra Narai and in the background Phra Prang Sam Yod, the "Sanctuary with the Three Towers". It refers to King Narai who in 1664 fortified the city to be used as an alternative capital when Ayutthaya was threatened by a Dutch naval blockade.
The slogan of the province is National treasures of King Narai's palace and Phra Kan Shrine, famous Prang Sam Yot, city of Din So Phong Marl, well-known Pa Sak Cholasit Dam and golden land of King Narai the Great.
- Thepsatri Rajabhat University
- Kasetsart University, Lopburi Campus
- Ramkhamhaeng University, Lopburi Campus
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- Wat Sao Thong Thong (วัดเสาธงทอง) The temple's shrine hall is believed to have originally been constructed as a religious site for another religion. A map drawn by a French craftsman shows the area being a Persian neighborhood, suggesting that it may have been an Islamic ceremonial site.
- King Narai National Museum (พิพิธภัณฑสถานแห่งชาติสมเด็จพระนารายณ์) was established in 1923. The four buildings display antiquities:
- Phiman Mongkut Pavilion (พระที่นั่งพิมานมงกุฎ) Prehistoric artefacts discovered in archaeological sites along the Chao Phraya River.
- Chanthara Phisan Hall (พระที่นั่งจันทรพิศาล) Traditional Thai architecture housing the history, politics, society, culture, and biography of King Narai.
- Phra Prathiap Buildings or Central Thai Lifestyle Buildings (หมู่ตึกพระประเทียบ) (อาคารชีวิตไทยภาคกลาง) Exhibitions on central Thai daily life, houses, tools, fishing and farming utensils, and local handicrafts.
- Nang Yai Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์หนังใหญ่) presents shadow plays on the Ramakian story of Nang Yai.
- Wichayen House (บ้านหลวงรับราชทูต หรือ บ้านหลวงวิชาเยนทร์) It served as the residence for the envoys paying a courtesy call on King Narai. The important thing is the Christian church, whose plan and design is in a European style but with the entrance and window facades in the Ruean Kaeo style.
- The City Pillar Shrine or Lukson Shrine (ศาลหลักเมือง หรือ ศาลลูกศร) Prince Damrong Rajanupab wrote about this shrine in the legend of Lopburi that "it has been assumed that the city pillar was the arrow of Phra Ram that has become stone,..."
- Phra Prang Sam Yot (พระปรางค์สามยอด) The compound consists of three prangs linked to one another by a corridor. In the reign of King Narai, Phra Prang Sam Yot was renovated as a Buddhist temple. Inside is enshrined a sandstone Buddha image in the subduing Mara posture, presenting the early Ayutthaya style of art. At present, the image is located outdoors.
- Lop Buri Zoo (สวนสัตว์ลพบุรี) The Special Warfare Unit, which took charge of the place, cooperated with other authorities such as various clubs, traders, and the public to renovate the zoo to be a place for relaxation and source of knowledge on animals and plants.
- Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat (วัดพระศรีรัตนมหาธาตุ) Inside the wihan is a Buddha image on a masonry base known as "Chukkachi". "Prang Rai"— satellite prangs—are on the northwest side. At every corner of its star-fruit shape, there is a stucco relief of Thep Phanom, angel in adoration, turning their faces in every direction.
- Phra Narai Ratchaniwet (พระนารายณ์ราชนิเวศน์) King Narai had this palace constructed in 1666 to be his royal residence in Lopburi. The structures within the compound can be divided into two groups in accordance with the period of construction. Structures built during the reign of King Narai include:
- Dusit Sawan Thanya Maha Prasat Hall (พระที่นั่งดุสิตสวรรค์ธัญญมหาปราสาท) A throne hall in a mixture of Thai and French architecture. Originally, it was an audience hall with a pointed top in the mondop shape. This was the place where King Narai received Chevalier de Chaumont and French envoys in 1685.
- Chanthara Phisan Hall (พระที่นั่งจันทรพิศาล) was used as an audience hall. At present, the hall is an exhibition hall, presenting the biography of King Narai and the fine arts of Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin.
- Suttha Sawan Hall (พระที่นั่งสุทธาสวรรค์) Private residence of King Narai in the inner section of the royal palace. King Narai died in this hall on 11 July 1688.
- Phrachao Hao Building (ตึกพระเจ้าเหา) A Thai-style brick building with a laterite base. However, at present, all that remains are the walls, windows, and doors of the Ruean Kaeo arch with the Simha or lion base whose patterns can still be seen.
- Reception Hall for Foreign Visitors (ตึกรับรองแขกเมือง) It reflects French architectural style. This building was at the centre of the park, which was divided into a grid. Around the building was a moat.
- Phra Khlang Supharat (The Twelve Royal Storage Buildings) (พระคลังศุภรัตน์ (หมู่ตึกสิบสองท้องพระคลัง)) Between the water tank and the Reception Hall for Foreign Visitors. It is believed to have been a place to store royal goods and treasures.
- Water Tank (อ่างเก็บน้ำหรือถังเก็บน้ำประปา) Constructed of brick with a specially-thick wall at its edge. Underground lies a baked-clay pipe to distribute water from Thale Chup Son and Sap Lek Reservoir to the buildings and halls.
- Elephant Stables (โรงช้างหลวง) Most have been ruined with only 10 foundations remaining. Elephants living in these stables were ridden by King Narai, royal family members, and high-ranking aristocrats.
Structures built during the reign of King Rama IV include: Phiman Mongkut Pavilion (หมู่พระที่นั่งพิมานมงกุฎ) was constructed at the command of King Rama IV in 1862 as his private residence when he came to renovate Lopburi.
Phra Prathiap Buildings (หมู่ตึกพระประเทียบ) Composed of two single storey buildings and a group of eight two-storey brick buildings, constructed for being residential quarters for court officials who attended King Rama V when he visited Lopburi.
Thim Dap or Royal Guards Residence (ทิมดาบ หรือที่พักของทหารรักษาการณ์) Passing through the entrance to the middle court, the buildings on both sides of the lawn were the barracks of the royal guards of the palace.
Prang Khaek (เทวสถานปรางค์แขก) The oldest monument of Lopburi: three prangs, made of bricks with no adjoining corridors as at Prang Sam Yot.
San Phra Kan (ศาลพระกาฬ) An ancient Khmer sanctuary, constructed of laterite with a high base. Therefore, it was also called "San Sung" (a high shrine).
Wat Nakhon Kosa (วัดนครโกษา) Within the compound of the temple are ancient remains of a grand chedi of the Dvaravati period with a prang of the Lopburi period around the 12th century at the front. Two large images of God transformed into Buddha images were discovered and are now kept in the Somdet Phra Narai National Museum.
Wat San Paulo (วัดสันเปาโล) A Jesuit church, constructed in the reign of King Narai. At present, only a side of the wall and an observatory remain.
Wat Mani Chonlakhan (วัดมณีชลขัณฑ์) A strange-looking chedi, similar to those of the Chiang Saen (Lanna) style. Within the compound of the temple stands a bodhi tree, planted by King Rama V.
Wat Tong Pu (วัดตองปุ) In the past, it was a gathering place of the Thai army. There is an ancient object which is the only one remaining in Thailand which is a traditional shower or bathing device for monks and Buddha images, called the bathing fountain.
Wat Kawitsararam Ratchaworawihan (วัดกวิศรารามราชวรวิหาร) It is said that this temple was the site of the ceremony to drink an oath of allegiance. The principal Buddha image is in the posture of subduing Mara in the U Thong-style, while the mural paintings are of a floral design.
Wat Choeng Tha (วัดเชิงท่า) Originally called Wat Tha Kwian because it was a terminal for product-transport carts, "kwian", to the pier in front of the temple. Inside the compound of the temple lie significant buildings which had been constructed from the end of the Ayutthaya Period until the Rattanakosin Period.
Sophon Sin Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์หอโสภณศิลป์) Displays of the background of Buddhist monks, the Dhamma, and the Buddha, as well as the background of the temple itself in an exhibition on Buddhism.
Sa Kaeo (สระแก้ว) At the middle of the pond stands a structure similar to a gigantic candle on a large footed tray where symbols of each ministry were decorated around its edge.
Wat Chi Pa Sitaram (วัดชีป่าสิตาราม) Within the compound of the temple is a bell-shaped chedi representing Ayutthaya art.
Kraison Siharat Hall (พระที่นั่งไกรสรสีหราช) Commonly known as Phra Thinang Yen or Thale Chup Son Hall. This hall is another residence of King Narai. The hall is on an island surrounded by Thale Chup Son, which was once a large reservoir surrounded with a dam made of stone and cement.
Wat Yang Na Rangsi and Lop Buri Boat Museum (วัดยาง ณ รังสี และพิพิธภัณฑ์เรือพื้นบ้าน) Lopburi Boat Museum is at the temple sermon hall, constructed in 1927 on the bank of the Lopburi River. The hall was granted an award for Best Architectural Preservation in 1993. It reflects the rural Thai temple hall's style in central Thailand.
Tha Khae Scripture Hall (หอไตรวัดท่าแค) Dharma Scripture hall of the "Lao Lom" community. Normally, a scripture hall is constructed on high columns in a pond. However, the one at this temple is a wooden house with a cruciform plan located on high columns.
Ang Sap Lek (อ่างซับเหล็ก) A natural ancient reservoir. In 1977, Lopburi improved Ang Sap Lek to be a natural tourist attraction by building roads around the reservoir, planting trees, as well as, erecting a summer relaxation pavilion.
Wat Lai (วัดไลย์) There are remaining ancient stucco reliefs on the Jakata stories and the Buddha's life. Maitreya Bodhisattva's image is another object that has been highly respected by the people from the past. Besides, there are other objects such as an old wihan with slit windows, which is the architecture reflecting the early Ayutthaya style.
Khao Samo Khon (เขาสมอคอน) A mountain range which has been important historically. There are four important temples on this mountain range: Wat Bandai Sam Saen, Wat Tham Tako Phutthasopha, Wat Tham Chang Phueak, and Wat Khao Samo Khon.
Amphoe Ban Mi (อำเภอบ้านหมี่) Famous for Mudmi silk. Most of the locals are Thai Phuan who migrated from Laos around 130 years ago. They named their new settlement as "Ban Mi" after their former Laotian village.
Wat Thammikaram or Wat Khangkhao (วัดธรรมิการาม หรือ วัดค้างคาว) Mural paintings at the four sides of the ubosot depict the life of Buddha. The paintings incorporate Western techniques such as the shading of trees.
Wat Thong Khung Tha Lao (วัดท้องคุ้งท่าเลา) The entrance of the temple is in the shape of Hanuman with its mouth wide open, decorated with glass in distinctive colours.
Wat Nong Tao (Wat Phanit Thammikaram) (วัดหนองเต่า หรือ วัดพาณิชธรรมมิการาม) The ubosot on the back of a turtle, "tao", considered the symbol of the sub-district.
Wat Khao Wongkot (วัดเขาวงกต) There is a bat cave on the shoulder of the mountain above the ubosot. It is the largest bat cave in Lopburi, inside which live millions of bats. The bats' droppings generate an income for the wat of more than ten thousand baht a year.
Khao Wong Phrachan (เขาวงพระจันทร์) At the summit of Khao Wong Phrachan visitors can see the panoramic scenery below. Khao Wong Phrachan is the highest mountain in Lopburi.
Sunflower fields (ทุ่งทานตะวัน) Lopburi is the leading sunflower province. Some 200,000–300,000 rai are planted with sunflowers. They are usually in full bloom from November–January. Sunflower fields are scattered throughout Mueang District, Phatthana Nikhom District, and Chai Badan District.
Wat Phrom Rangsi (วัดพรหมรังษี) This temple has an ubosot with four porches. The bell-shape chedi is similar to the Phra Borommathat, a chedi containing a Buddha relic, in Nakhon Si Thammarat.
Pa Sak Jolasid Dam (เขื่อนป่าสักชลสิทธิ์) It is the longest clay-core dam in Thailand. The Pa Sak River Basin Museum presents information about nature and culture.
Ban Pong Manao Site Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์เปิดบ้านโป่งมะนาว) A pre-historic archaeological site dating from around 2,500–3,000 years ago or the late-Ban Chiang Period. Thirteen ancient human skeletons were found here.
Khao Somphot Non-hunting Area (เขตห้ามล่าสัตว์ป่าเขาสมโภชน์) A high and steep limestone mountain range stretching along the southwestern direction, full of caves and cliffs. There are two plains in the valley and a plateau, with many spots of water seepage around the area, making it a significant watershed.
Sap Langka Wildlife Sanctuary (เขตรักษาพันธุ์สัตว์ป่าซับลังกา) The significance of the area is that it is the source of the Lam Sonthi River, as well as, a source of food for wildlife. At present, there are still goat antelopes which are protected animals living in the sanctuary.
Special Warfare Command (หน่วยบัญชาการสงครามพิเศษ) (Mueang District) Demonstrations of how to survive in the forest, a 34-foot tower jump, parachute from a balloon, shooting, cliff climbing, and a military jungle tour. An Army Special Forces Museum displays photos, equipment, background, evolution and pictures of various activities of the special forces.
Military Camp A03 (หารค่าย A03) In Mueang District, at the entrance of the Sap Lek Reservoir, Khok Tum Sub-district. It is a complex activity centre, testing the spirit and military way of living such as jumping from the 34-foot tower, artificial cliff climbing, shooting, rope bridge climbing and canoeing.
Artillery Centre (ศูนย์การทหารปืนใหญ่) In Mueang District, are architecture created during the period of Field Marshal Plaek Pibulsongkram such as the Chato Building (Khao Nam Chon Command Headquarters), Pibulsongkram Building and Museum, Artillery Museum, the General Phraya Phahon Phonphayuhasena Museum, and the Botanical Garden.
Ananda Mahidol Hospital (โรงพยาบาลอานันทมหิดล) In Mueang District, is an exhibition hall displaying the biography of King Rama VIII at the Operation Building of the Ananda Mahidol Hospital. There are photos of the opening ceremony of the hospital on 6 January 1938.
- Din So Phong Village (หมู่บ้านดินสอพอง) Lopburi produces quality dinsophong, marl, of Thailand. It is a soft chalky dirt used as body powder or as a soil amendment. The source of production is at Hin Song Kon Village (by Khlong Chonlaprathan, around Bridge 6).
- Khai Khem Din So Phong (Marl salted egg) (ไข่เค็มดินสอพอง) To produce this salted egg, a mixture of marl, water, and salt is coated on an egg. The egg is preserved for a certain period of time. The egg is not too salty and can be cooked as khai wan, an egg poached in syrup, fried eggs, boiled eggs and other dishes. The most well-known dish cooked with this egg is stir fried salted egg with various spices, kaffir lime, and string beans.
- Metal Casting (Brass) (การหล่อโลหะ (ทองเหลือง)) Casts of brass Buddha images in various shapes and replicas of antiques.
- Khao Phra Ngam Diamond (เพชรเขาพระงาม) The gemstone of Lopburi. It is called hin khiao hanuman (quartz crystal). It is a semi-precious stone with clear transparent crystals, sometimes coloured. It can be polished for jewellery, like other gemstones, but at more reasonable prices.
- Mudmi Fabric (หมู่บ้านทอผ้ามัดหมี่) Mudmi is a tie-dyed fabric woven by the Thai Phuan people.
- Som fak (ส้มฟัก) Preserved fish, a combination of fish, salt, ground cooked rice, and pickled garlic, kneaded together and left to slightly ferment for three days.
- Pla som (ปลาส้ม) A preserved fish made from pla thapian, barb, whose scales are scraped off and its stomach cleaned. Then, salt is applied all over the fish, while cooked rice mixed with garlic is put into its stomach and left to ferment. It will be fried before eating, creating a mouth-watering smell and a slightly sour taste.
- Coconut jelly (วุ้นน้ำมะพร้าว) A well-known souvenir of Lopburi, produced as a dessert to be eaten with ice. The jelly is produced by fermenting coconut juice. In the fermentation process, white fungi float on the surface and gradually coalesce into a mushroom-like jelly, which will enlarge due to its fermentation. This jelly is called "coconut juice jelly mushroom" or "coconut jelly". The jelly is mixed with various flavours of syrup and bottled.
- Sandstone sculpture (หมู่บ้านแกะสลักหินทราย) Garden decor, Buddha images, stone boundary markers, and consecration marking balls for temples.
- Corn husks (ผลิตภัณฑ์จากเปลือกข้าวโพด) Produced in Phatthana Nikhom District, where a large amount of corn is planted. After the harvest, the corn husks will be dried in the sun, dyed, and fashioned into handicrafts such as flowers, dolls, key chains.
- King Narai Festival (งานแผ่นดินสมเด็จพระนารายณ์มหาราช) Organised in February every year to commemorate the good deeds of King Narai. There are various activities in the fair such as light and sound presentation, a demonstration of Thai lifestyle, Wang Narai Night, Thai games by Thai kids (Chuk, Klae, Ko, Pia), local entertainment, and booths offering local products.
- Monkey Buffet Festival (งานเลี้ยงโต๊ะจีนลิง) On Sunday during the last week of November at San Phra Kan and Phra Prang Sam Yot where a large number of monkeys stay. Tourists who come to pay respect to Chaopho Phra Kan usually bring food and fruit for the monkeys, making them more tame and familiar with people. In this event, there are various activities such as party offering food in especially beautiful decoration for monkeys and local performances.
- Sunflower Festival (งานทุ่งทานตะวัน) Takes place around December every year as it is when sunflowers are in full bloom.
- Kam Fa Tradition (ประเพณีกำฟ้า) A local merit-making tradition of the Thai Phuan people. It is organised to request for a blessing from gods who protect the sky so that it will rain during the rainy season. The 2nd day of the waxing moon in the 3rd lunar month is considered the eve and the next day is the Kam Fa Day. In the morning, people will give alms with khao lam, glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk in bamboo, and khao chi - roasted glutinous rice, In the afternoon there are local games such as Mon Son Pha, Chuang Chai, Ma Bia, and Ma Kan Han.
- Sai Krachat (ประเพณีใส่กระจาด) Also known as Suea Krachat or Soe Krachat in the Phuan language, is a tradition of the Thai Phuan people. It takes place during the sermon on the Great Birth story. It is mostly organised at the end of Buddhist Lent (the 11th month) in the waning moon period. One day prior to the Sai Krachat Day, people will wrap khao tom, seasoned sticky rice in banana leaf, and grind rice for khao pun rice noodles. The next day is the Sai Krachat Day when people will bring things such as bananas, sugar cane, oranges, candles, and joss sticks or other items to put into the bamboo baskets at the houses of the people they know, while the hosts will bring the prepared food to welcome their guests. When the visitors would like to go home, the host will give khao tom mat as a souvenir in return called "khuen krachat". The next day will be the day of the Great Birth Sermon. It is considered as a grand annual merit-making event of the year.
- Chak Phra Si (ประเพณีชักพระศรีอาริย์ วัดไลย์ หรือประเพณีแห่พระศรีอาริย์) On the 14th day of the waxing moon during the 6th lunar month every year. The temple will arrange the image of the Maitreya Bodhisattva to be enshrined on the "takhe", a handcart, and let the people pull the image to the north. The starting point is Wat Lai to the end at Wat Thong Khung and back to Wat Lai. The procession stops at some points to allow people to pour water onto and to pay respect to the image. There are also a dozen almshouses providing free food for the participants in the procession.
- "Lopburi". Tourist Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Phra Prang Sam Yot". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "Provincial Escutcheon". THAILEX Travel Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "Lopburi Province (จังหวัดลพบุรี)". Lopburi Province. Retrieved 2015-11-02.
- "Wat Sao Thong Thong". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "King Narai National Museum". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Wichayen House". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "The City Pillar Shrine or Lukson Shrine". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Phra Prang Sam Yot". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Lopburi Zoo". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Phra Narai Ratchaniwet". Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT). Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "King Narai Festival". Festivals in Thailand. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
- "Sunflower Festival". Festivals in Thailand. Retrieved 21 June 2015.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Lopburi Province.|
- Website of province (Thai)
- Lopburi provincial map, coat of arms and postal stamp Archived June 21, 2015, at the Wayback Machine.
||Nakhon Sawan Province||Phetchabun Province||Chaiyaphum Province|
|Singburi Province||Nakhon Ratchasima Province|
|Ang Thong Province||Ayutthaya Province||Saraburi Province|