Maha Sarakham Province
Map of Thailand highlighting Maha Sarakham Province
|Capital||Waeng Nang Township|
|• Governor||Thongthawi Phimsen (since March 2009)|
|• Total||5,291.7 km2 (2,043.1 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 42nd|
|• Rank||Ranked 20th|
|• Density||180/km2 (470/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 14th|
|Time zone||ICT (UTC+7)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-44|
Maha Sarakham (Thai: มหาสารคาม; also spelled Mahasarakham) is one of the provinces (changwat) of Thailand, located in the northeastern (Isan) region of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Kalasin, Roi Et, Surin, Buriram, and Khon Kaen.
The town of Maha Sarakham was the province's capital. It is the home of Mahasarakham University, the largest university in northeast Thailand (37,342 students), and Rajabhat Mahasarakham University.
The province is mostly a plain covered with rice fields, only in the north and east are small hills. The province is between 130 and 230 m above sea level. The main river in the province is the river Chi.
|Climate data for Maha Sarakham (1981–2010)|
|Average high °C (°F)||31.4
|Average low °C (°F)||16.7
|Average rainfall mm (inches)||2.0
|Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm)||1||2||3||7||13||15||14||17||17||10||2||1||102|
|Average relative humidity (%)||70||67||66||68||76||78||79||82||84||79||73||70||74.3|
|Source: Thai Meteorological Department (Normal 1981-2010), (Rainfall mm, Avg. rainy days 1961-1990)|
Maha Sarakham was originally a satellite town of Roi Et founded in 1865. The governor of Roi Et sent 9,000 people to populate the new town, and one of his cousins as its governor. In 1868 the central government in Bangkok declared Maha Sarakham a province of its own under the supervision of Bangkok; one of the reasons was that this step weakened the power of Roi Et.
The provincial seal shows a big tree in front of big rice fields, symbolizing the richness of resources in the province.
The provincial flag shows the seal in the middle, in a brown horizontal strip. Above and below is a yellow strip. The brown color symbolizes the strength and the perseverance of the people in the province, who live in the rather dry climate; the yellow color as the color of the robes of Buddhist monks symbolizes the faith of the people.
||This article is written like a travel guide rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (May 2008)|
||This section may stray from the topic of the article. (March 2011)|
- Isan Cultural Centre (ศูนย์ศิลปวัฒนธรรมอีสาน): The center features a history of Isan art, as well as handicraft such as weaving, clothing patterns. The center also exhibits rare item such as Isan literature on the fan palm leaves, photos regarding tradition and culture of Isan.
- Isan Tradition and Art Research Institute (สถาบันวิจัยศิลปะและวัฒนธรรมอีสาน): The institute features permanent exhibition regarding all aspects of Isan art and culture.
- Pottery Village (หมู่บ้านปั้นหม้อ): The villagers here inherited ancient method of pottery from their ancestor. From water pot and cooking pots, they have diversified their products into various designs to cope with modern living style.
- Ku Mahathat (กู่มหาธาตุ): Built in the 13th century to serve as a hospital during the reign of King Chaivoraman VII, the laterite ruins were created in Bayon style in rectangular shape. Eight metres high and four metres wide, the ruin houses two gods made from terra cotta, sitting legs crossed with conchs in hands.
- City Shrine (ศาลเจ้าพ่อหลักเมือง): The shrine was built by Thao Mahachai, the first ruler of Maha Sarakham who moved from Roi-Et to build new city here. The city shrine was built as a sacred icon of the city.
- Khong Kut Wai Fish Sanctuary (อุทยานมัจฉาโขงกุดหวาย): Ten kilometres from Maha Sarakham, the lake is home to over 100 species of freshwater fish.
- Phra That Na Dun: Buddhist Park of Isan (พระธาตุนาดูน พุทธมณฑลแห่งอีสาน): Phra That is in the area once was ancient town called Champasi. Lots of archeological artifacts are found and now kept in Khon Kaen National Museum. The most significant items found was the stupa housing relic of the Buddha kept in gold, silver, and bronze boxes.
- Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute (สถาบันวิจัยวลัยรุกขเวช): The institute researches conserving, improving, and distributing flora of the region. It has bamboo terrain, herbal garden, Isan Cart Museum, and Isan traditional house museum that features different kinds of Isan houses.
- Dun Lamphan No-hunting Area (เขตห้ามล่าสัตว์ป่าดูนลำพัน): The area features two forest types namely deciduous dipterocarp forest and peat swamp forest. The most famous endemic species found here is Mealy Crab Thaipotamon chulabhon Naiyanetr.
- Phra Yuen Mongkhon Buddha Image (พระพุทธรูปยืนมงคล): The statue from Dvaravati is a sacred icon of Maha Sarakham. Like Phra Phuttha Ming Mueang, the stature is carved from red sandstone.
- Phra Buddha Ming Mueang or Suwan Mali Buddha Image (พระพุทธมิ่งเมือง): The red sandstone Buddha image from the Dvaravati period is a sacred icon for Maha Sarakham locals.
- Ban Nong Khuean Chang Handicraft Village (หมู่บ้านหัตถกรรมบ้านหนองเขื่อนช้าง): The village produces silk, cotton textiles, and other products such as scarves, cotton shirts, and Isan-style trousers.
- Kosamphi Forest Park (วนอุทยานโกสัมพี): The shady park is home to different big trees such as Yang, Tabaek, and Kathum. With a natural pond and scenery, this park is home to different kinds of bird, big herd of crab-eating macaque, as well as rare golden crab-eating macaque. Attractions in the park include:
- Kaeng Tat (แก่งตาด) When the river descends between November and May, shallow water allows rapids to appear.
- Lan Khoi (ลานข่อย): The terrain is occupied by toothbrush trees. Today, over 200 of them are bent into different shapes.
- Crab-eating macaque (ลิงแสม): The animals make this park their home. There are two kinds of crab-eating macaques in the park, grey and gold macaques.
- Bueng Bon (บึงบอน): The lake packed with elephant ear plants.
- Bun Boek Fa Fair and Red Cross Fair (งานบุญเบิกฟ้าและกาชาด): Held annually on the third lunar day of February to celebrate the early period of harvest season, the fair aims also to conserve Isan cultural heritage. There is a parade to honour the goddess of rice and Baisee ceremony.
- Phra That Na Dun Festival (งานนมัสการพระธาตุนาดูน): The celebration is held annually on the full moon of February in Maka Bucha Day at the Buddhist Park of Isan. The week-long celebration features Buddhism-related activities such as giving alms to the monks, vipassana practice, dhamma lecture, and the glory performance “Champasi-Natakan”.
- On Son Klong Yao Festival (งานออนซอนกลองยาวชาววาปีของดีพื้นบ้าน): The annual festival is held 12–16 March at the field by Amphoe Wapi Pathum Office. The fair features long drum contest, floats of long drum, Isan traditional performances, beauty contest, performances.
- Monkey Feeding Festival (งานบุญพาข้าวลิง): Held every 2 April at Kosamphi Forest Park, Amphoe Kosumpisai.
- Rocket Festival (งานบุญบั้งไฟ): Held every May and April at the field by Amphoe Na Chuak Office.
- Candle Festival (งานแห่เทียนเข้าพรรษา): The festival is held at Amphoe Kosum Phisai to mark Buddhist Lent. The festival features float and candle contest.
- Boat Race, Loi Kratong, and Candle Boat festival (งานประเพณีแข่งเรือยาว ลอยกระทง และล่องเรือไฟ): Held annually to mark the end of Buddhist Lent at Bung Bon, close to Kosum Phi Botanical Park. The festival feature boat races, Loi Kratong, and candle boats.
- Province page from the Tourist Authority of Thailand
- Website of the Province (Thai only)
- Maha Sarakham provincial map, coat of arms and postal stamp
- Vintage photos of Mahasarakham in 1963
|Khon Kaen Province||Roi Et Province|
|Buriram Province||Surin Province|