Thai ancient Muslim sites falling into poor condition
By: Khadija Chinese
AYUTTHAYA, Thailand: The Thai government has been
called on by a Muslim cultural expert to pay more attention to
historic sites of ancient Muslim communities in Ayutthaya that are
falling into disrepair.
Ayutthaya, to the north of Bangkok, was the first capital of the
Kingdom of Thailand from the early-14th century, until its destruction
by Burmese invaders in 1767.
Director of Thon Buri Historical Information Center Mr Teeranand
Chuangpinit was referring to Chao Kun Takia Cemetery and Chao Kun Ku
Cham Cemetery, the final resting place of noble Muslims of the
Ayutthaya era, including a nephew of the powerful Sheikh Ahmad Qomi,
the first lineage of the Bunnag family and the country's first
Chularatchamontri who lived in the reign of King Narai.
Traditional buildings on the premises of Chao Kun Takia Mosque, more
than 300 years old, are in disrepair. People can modify the buildings
at will. Old and new architectural styles become confused.
Mr Teeranand said sites with great historic importance deserve better
care from the Fine Arts Department.
"Just a few kilometres from a designated World Heritage site, these
two historic places have never received money or expertise from the
state conservation agency," he said.
The Takia Mosque community is an early settlement of Muslim migrants
who came from Persia during the reign of King Songtham of Ayutthaya.
Some believe the Chao Kun Takia Cemetery was the burial ground of a
respected Muslim Indian believed to have possessed supernatural power.
The Takia Mosque has become a popular destination for local and
foreign Muslims. Buddhist Thais also visit the mosque to make a wish
and, if the wish is granted, make merit such as releasing goats and
Chao Kun Ku Cham Cemetery is also in poor condition.
The burial ground of the fifth Chularatchamontri, the state counsellor
on treasury and international trade, is set in an unadorned concrete
house. "This looks much better compared to the past," said Mr
The burial ground was covered by a tin roof when he visited the area a
Mr Teeranand said local history would soon disappear unless historians
and the Fine Arts Department came to the rescue.
Member of Aliyinnuroy Mosque in Ayutthaya province Pradit Kanjan said
local people wanted to preserve the sites but lacked expertise and
better than wealth because it protects you while you have to
guard wealth. it decreases if you keep on spending it but the
more you make use of knowledge ,the more it increases . what you
get through wealth disappears as soon as wealth disappears but
what you achieve through knowledge will remain even after you."MORE