Ho Phra Isuan

The Ho Phra Isuan shrine and its neighbor across the street, the Ho Phra Narai, are all that remains to show there was once a sizable Hindu Indian population based in Nakorn Si Thammarat. The Ho Phra Isuan is dedicated to Shiva. On the altar in the shrine is a large Lingam shrouded in flowers. The Lingam is thought to date back to the sixth century.

Shiva Shrine
The Ho Phra Isuan shrine and the ritual swing for Brahmin rites
The altar of the shrine, with its statue of Shiva The altar of the shrine, with its statue of Shiva

Next to the Lingam on the altar is a statue of Shiva dancing in a ring of fire.

The small white chapel housing the altar is a replacement for the original, which weathered away. The current chapel was built by the Fine Arts Department in 1966.

Next to the chapel is a large swing similar to the Giant Swing in Bangkok, but on a much smaller scale. The swing was used in the Tri Yampawai and Tri Pawai Brahmin ceremonies. There was once a Brahmin church on the site, but the swing is all that remains.

Getting There

The Ho Phra Isuan chapel is right on Ratchadamnoen Road a short distance from the remnants of the North Gate. The best way to get there is by songthaew - a small pickup with benches along either side of the bed. Each trip costs just 5 Baht.