Imagine a pyramid-shaped hill, and a landscape adorned with ancient ruins that uncovers the grandeur of Si Thep Historical Park. This striking wonder is located in the northern province of Phetchabun, a corner of the world that carries remnants of history dating back to an incredible 1,700 years. Let’s explore it together.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee has recently recognized Si Thep Historical Park as a cultural heritage site, a breaking news shared by Deputy Prime Minister Phatcharavat Wongsuwan. As the head of a national committee for world heritage protection, he conveyed this exciting information during a function at the historic Bangkok National Museum. The wonder is Thailand’s newest World Heritage site, a sumptuous testament to its rich history and culture.
Culture Minister Sermsak Pongpanich shared that the World Heritage Committee has honored four cultural sites in this prosperous land. The others include Sukhothai Historical Park in Sukhothai province, Ayutthaya Historical Park in Ayutthaya, and Ban Chiang Archaeological Site in Udon Thani. Each site carries a unique tale from the past and imprinting cultural intricacies that we can all learn and marvel from.
With the recent recognition, the Fine Arts Department intends to waive entry fees at Si Thep Historical Park from Wednesday through Sunday. They also plan to hold an exhibition dedicated to Si Thep Historical Park, celebrating its world heritage significance. This exhibition is to be held at the Bangkok National Museum from Wednesday until January next year.
Si Thep Historical Park is a treasure trove of ruins, artefacts, and tales from the past. Inside the park lies the ancient city remains of Si Thep and notable archaeological sites such as Khao Khlang Nok and Khao Thamorat. Each structure narrates an intriguing story that adds to the abundant richness of Thai history and culture.
A few of the noteworthy structures within the park include Khmer-style prang, a unique and beautiful pyramid-shaped hill named Khao Klang Nok, and a Buddhist stupa called Khao Klang Nai. The stupa is famous for its Dvaravati-style bas-relief and plentiful figurines that line the structure’s foundation. The fascinating combination of art and history that these structures represent is simply spellbinding.
This treasure of a site has been recognized due to its cultural and historical significance, and has been listed as a national archaeological site since 1935. The ancient town is surrounded by a city wall and a moat which spreads across an area of 4.7 kilometers. This layout holds within it the elegance of the Dvaravati civilization, a civilization that peaked between the 6th and 11th centuries.
Exploration and preservation efforts commenced in 1978, when the Fine Arts Department initiated an excavation project. An astonishing 100 ruins of Buddhist and Hindu monuments were found along with ponds of various sizes. Every finding offered crucial insights into religious preferences and practices of past civilizations that once graced this land.
These stories are not merely tales from the past but are living narratives that continue to shape our understanding of Thai heritage. A visit to Si Thep Historical Park is thus an exploration into these narratives, a step into the past, and an experience unparalleled.