Muang Tong Hotel

1459/7-8-9 Jamrernvitee Rd., Krang Muang, Nakorn Si Thammarat, 80000, Thailand
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Travel Tips for Nakhon Si Thammarat

Making Jatukam

by Tina-Perth

We visited a temple in Nakhorn where we were invited in to see how the Jatukam are made. Jatukam are wildly popular religious amulets. They're not strictly Buddhist, but were made to raise money for Buddhist temples. There are two types that I know of, the Chedi Rai (pronounced Jay-dee rai) and the Ramathep. Jatukam Ramathep is the combination name of two brother princes that were entrusted with the remains of Buddha's body.

Their father was the King of central Siam and had overpowered Sri Lanka, adding it to his kingdom where he travelled to, leaving the remains to be protected by his sons. When the princes heard of plans by their enemies to capture the relics, the sons were ordered by the King to bring the relics to Sri Lanka. On the way, the boat sunk and all crew were lost, except for the two princes. The princes came ashore at the place now known as Nakhorn Si Thammarat. These two princes introduced Buddhism to the region.

Later, once they'd built a flourishing city, they built the Wat Mahathat to house the relics.

Many things can be included in the putty that the Jatukam are made from, these can range from ground-up bricks from holy ruins, hair from monks, ashes of monks, anything considered holy or powerful. Some amulets include tiny pieces of string that famous monks have used when praying. (The string facilitates Spirit to travel).

Bananas are also used to bind the putty.

The amulets are pressed into these moulds.

Some freshly made Jatukam Ramathep.

Trays of drying amulets.

One of the many Jatukam promoting vehicles you'll see everywhere.

I had to include this. I couldn't believe the power plug!

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