//]]>
 

The Kingdoms of Thailand

The Kingdom of Srivijaya

Little is known about the Srivijaya Kingdom. But its art found in old Srivijayan cities in Southern Thailand tells us much about its people. This art reflects various infusions of style from India, Champa [ Vietnam ] and central Java. It might rather be a reference to all art and architecture in South Thailand in the period 7th - 13th C. The Kingdom was ruled by the Sailendra dynasty of Central Java, which also ruled the Indonesian Archipelago, the Malay Peninsula and Southern Thailand to the Isthmus of Kra. Its capital in Thailand was the City of Chaiya [ then called Grahi ].

In Thailand sculpture and architectural relics confirm that Mahayana Buddhism was predominate. The style reflects close resemblance to Indo-Javanese art also showing influences from India [ Amaravati, Pala and Gupta ]. Most Srivijaya architecture is on the east coastline from Surat Thani Province south to Songkhla Province and comprises religious buildings of Mahayana Buddhism.

Good examples are Phra Borom Mathat at Chaiya in Javanese style made of brick and mortar [ 9th – 10th C ], Wat Kaew Pagoda at Chaiya, also of Javanese form and Wat Long Pagoda. The original Wat Mahathat at Nakhon Si Thammarat [ a Srivijayan city ] was subsequently encased by a larger Sri Lanka styled building.