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Nakhon Pathom (นครปฐม)

Thai. ‘First city’. Derived from the Pali name ‘Nagara Pathama’ and considered to be Thailand's oldest city and once the centre of the Dvaravati empire, though the region was probably inhabited as early as in the time of emperor Asoka, in the 3rd century AD. This provincial capital with a population of approximately 45,000 is located 56 kms from Bangkok in the jangwat (map) of the same name, in West Thailand. It is known for having the tallest Buddhist monument in the world, the Phra Pathom Chedi with a height of 127 meters (fig.). It also features the 15.875 meter tall Phra Phutta Monthon Buddha image (fig.), the Silpakorn Art and Cultural Centre (map - fig.), the Sanam Chan Palace (map - fig.) with its fleet of decommissioned royal cars (fig.), and waxworks at the Thai Human Imagery Museum (fig.). This province has seven amphur. See also Nakhon Pathom data file.