Nepali Times introduces history of Thailand through Buddhist architecture in an eight-part series.
The Architecture of the Dvaravati Style (6th-11th centuries AD) has influence of India.
Thailand’s geopolitical environment has made it the cultural centre of Southeast Asia from the 6th century to the present day.
This period broadly classified into eight distinguished artistic styles. The styles of art during the early period such as Dvaravati, Srivijaya and Lop Buri were influenced by the neighbouring countries before the Thai political domination.
The latter five styles such as Chiang Saen(Lanna), Sukhothai, U Thong, Ayutthaya and Rattanakosin (Bangkok) were more discrete and finally developed their own remarkable characters after Thais settled in present day domain.
The architectural works from the Dvaravati period were inspired by Buddhism together with influence from the Mon culture. Dvaravati, ancient kingdom of Southeast Asia that flourished from the 6th to the late 11th century.
It was the first Mon kingdom established in what is now Thailand and played an important role as a propagator of Indian culture. Situated in the lower Chao Phraya River valley, Dvaravati extended westward to the Tenasserim Yoma (Burma) and southward to the Isthmus of Kra (Malay peninsula).
Dvaravati was historically important as a transmitter of Indian Hindu culture. Having had early commercial and cultural contact with India, the Mon assumed the role of disseminators of the main features of Indian culture.
They were the most receptive of Southeast Asian peoples to Indian art and literature. Indian influence was apparent in matters of sculpture, writing, law, and governmental forms.
A marked example of Dvaravati art is Chedi Chula Prathon. The ruins of Chedi Chula Prathon lie at the heart of ancient Nakhon Pathom and date to approximately 7th century AD.