THAILAND AND INDIA
The history of THAILAND is that of one of the oldest Civilizations with wich INDIA had relation from ancient period . In ancient times it was called as SIAM/SHAYAM . If we trace back its history we find that its earliest inhabitants were of Paleolithic period that goes back to about 20,000 years ago . The Archeological evidences show that in the KHORAT PLATEAU , the people had started using bronze instruments as early as 3000 BC ago . Rice cultivation had started in that regions about 4th millennium back . Later , civilization of MALAY , MON and KHMER flourished in the region before the emergence of THAI domination in that areas as such . The THAI were the part of a larger ethno-linguistic group known as the TAI . They were mixture of groups like : 1. LAO ; 2. THE PEOPLE OF THE SHAN REGION OF NORTHEASTERN BURMA ; 3. THE ZHUANG PEOPLE OF GUANGXI province of CHINA ; and 4 . THO and NUNG people of Northern VIETNAM . And the history of migration of people from CHINA goes back to about the first millennium AD through LAOS .
In THAILAND there exists a popular dental story that about two thousand years ago a CHINESE Prince reached SHAYAM ( THAILAND ) through VIETNAM and CAMBODIA ( NOW KOMPUCHIA ) . Story goes like this that the Prince in influence of unscrupulous people wanted to kill his father who was the King there . But this conspiracy leaked out and the King ordered the exit of his disloyal Prince son and his conspirator friends from CHINA . The Prince in this way reached the bay of SHAYAM with his friends and on the seashore he established a city called JUDIYA where he mate seven saints having similar faces* and the Rulers of SHAYAM since many centuries BC had started considering themselves as the descent of that CHINESE Prince and for sometime they had accepted the suzerainty of CHINA as such also . In the first millennium , the TAI people were organized loosely in small entities mostly known as MUANG . Culturally they were more influenced by the HINDUISM of INDIA . Of course , a few of them were heavily influenced by the KHMER culture of CAMBODIA also . The BUDDHISM was introduced among the TAI speaking people through BURMA between 6th to 9th century AD . Mostly HINYANA sect of BUDDHISM was prevailing there . The THERAVADA BUDDHISM was introduced by the missionaries from SRI LANKA in 5th to 13th century AD only . PHONGSAWADANNUEA ( Chronicals of the North ) , is a historical record discussing about the history of the TAI people of the period ranging from 5th century AD to 11 th century AD .
The TAI ethnic group , as I have mentioned earlier that it was an ethno-cultural group , migrated into the mainland of Southeastern ASIA over the period of centuries . The word SIAM or SAYAM or SHAYAM appeared to have originated from either PALI word SUVARNABHUMI which means the ‘ Land of Gold ‘ or SANSKRIT word SYAMA means ‘dark’. SIAM or SHAYAM was once the province of CAMBODIA when the CHINESE culture developed there in the ancient period . However , in 1350 AD SIAM was declared as an independent state . A petrograph in TAMIL language has been found in SIAM which states INDIAN traders and fishermen had started coming to SIAM before CHRIST and their aim was only business . ** In this petrograph we can find the names of ‘ NARAYAN ‘ ( VISHNU ) and ‘MANIGRAMAM’. MANIGRAMAM is considered as a federation of traders from South INDIA . According to a historian on the subject , the construction of VISHNU TEMPLE in SIAM was perhaps done by the TAMIL VASHNAVA ( a sect of the HINDU religion ) warriors who were sailors of the extraordinary types .*** And he has considered this petrograph of the 9th century AD . It simply implies that the INDIANS had established their colonies in SIAM during that period . An other historian is , of the opinion , that the INDIAN colonies were established in SIAM during the period of ASHOKA , the great ( an ancient INDIAN King of MAGADHA who became benevolent from being a ferocious after the KALINGA War ) during whose period in the 3rd century BC itself the war infected people of KALINGA ( ORISSA , INDIA ) started settling down there in SIAM . WILLIAM ALFRED RAE WOOD , a BRITISH diplomat who lived most of his life in THAILAND and who became the BRITISH Consulate-General in CHIANG MAI in 1921 , wrote a book called A HISTORY OF SIAM in 1926 in which he had written that in the middle of SIAM there is a town called UDHOG which literally meant ‘source of gold’ which was the Kingdom of the King called RAM TIVODI . He has written other book on THAILAND called CONSUL IN PARADISE : SIXTY NINE YEARS IN SIAM published from SOUVENIR PRESS , LONDON in 1965 , gives enormous information about SIAM which is required for the further study on the subject .
* JOURNAL OF THE SIAM SOCIETY , VOL-Vll (1910) , PART-1, PP-6-7 .
** Col. GERINI : ‘SOUTH INDIAN ISLANDS’ VOL-lll , p- 91
*** JOURNAL OF ROYAL ASIATIC SOCIETY- 1913 , PP- 337-339
TO BE CONTINUED ………………………