bowed stringed instrument

Kalasin Province

Kalasin (กาฬสินธุ์) is one of the provinces (changwat) of Thailand, located in the North-East of Thailand. Neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Sakon Nakhon, Mukdahan, Roi Et, Maha Sarakham, Khon Kaen and Udon Thani.

Geography

Most of the province is covered by hilly landscape. In the north is the Lam Pao dam built 1963-68, storing 1,430 million of water for flood prevention and agriculture. The Lam Pao reservoir effectively cuts the northern part of the province in half but there are car ferries connecting the district of Sahatsakhan in the east with the district Nong Kung Si in the west, saving up to one hour off the journey by road. On the northwestern creek of the reservoir a road bridge now connects the village of Ban Dong Bang in the west with the district town of Wang Sam Mo in the east. Although the bridge was constructed several years ago (pre 2000) it is not featured (2006) on any commercially available road maps. Making the border with Sakhon Nakhon Province is the Phu Phan mountain range, which is preserved as a national park.

Kalasin is famous for the dinosaur fossils found at Phu Kum Khao (Sahatsakhan district), the largest dinosaur site of Thailand. Most of the fossils are from Sauropods of 120 million years ago.

Economy

Kalasin is an agricultural province producing sticky rice and other cash crops such as manioc (Cassava) and sugar cane. The families are generally poor in this essentially rural area and make ends meet by producing the silk for which the region is also renowned and basketry.

History

Archeological excavations showed that the Lawa tribe already lived in the area in prehistoric times 1600 years ago. However, the first town was founded in 1793.

During the thesaphiban reforms at the beginning of the 20th century the town (Mueang) was converted into a province. In 1932 the province was abolished and included into Maha Sarakham, and was recreated in 1947.

Symbols

The seal of the province shows a pond in front of the mountains which form the boundary of the province. The water in the pond is black, as the name Kalasin means "black water". The big clouds as well as the water symbolize the fertility of the province.

The provincial flower is Payorm or Sweet shorea (Shorea roxburghii), and the provincial tree is Sa-mae-san (Cassia garrettiana).

The provincial slogan is Fa Daet Song Yang Ancient City, Pong Lang Folk Music, Phu Thai Culture, Phrae Wa Silk, Pha Saweoi Phu Phan, Lam Pao River, and Million-year Dinosaurs.

Administrative divisions

The province is subdivided into 18 districts (Amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 134 subdistricts (tambon) and 1509 villages (muban).

  1. Mueang Kalasin
  2. Na Mon
  3. Kamalasai
  4. Rong Kham
  5. Kuchinarai
  6. Khao Wong
  7. Yang Talat
  8. Huai Mek
  9. Sahatsakhan

  1. Kham Muang
  2. Tha Khantho
  3. Nong Kung Si
  4. Somdet
  5. Huai Phueng
  6. Sam Chai
  7. Na Khu
  8. Don Chan
  9. Khong Chai

Tourism

Sights

Phraya Chaisunthon Monument (Chao Somphamit) (อนุสาวรีย์พระยาชัยสุนทร): The life-sized monument is made from bronze in a standing position with the right hand holding a teapot, and left hand holding a magic sword.

Wat Klang (วัดกลาง): Within the temple’s compound, there is an Ubosot building, which was an extension from the old building. Inside a pavilion or Sala near the Ubosot building is a black Buddha image, made from bronze. In any drought season, the local people would take the Buddha image in a procession to beg for rain.

Wat Si Bun Rueang (วัดศรีบุญเรือง) or Wat Nuea (วัดเหนือ) The temple stores a number of crafted boundary stones from Fa Daet Song Yang Ancient City. One of the most beautiful boundary stones, which are of the Dvaravati art, is the one that depicts flying angels over a Prasat or palace represented by double arches, with the king, queen and their sons at the bottom.

Kalasin Museum (พิพิธภัณฑ์ของดีจังหวัดกาฬสินธุ์) The museum was established by Mr. Chairat Mapraneet, Governor of Kalasin province, with an aim to show the collections of good things in Kalasin.

Phutthasathan Phu Po (พุทธสถานภูปอ) The site is where two ancient reclining Buddha images of the Dvaravati period carved on the cliff can be seen. They are the sacred images highly revered by the people of Kalasin and nearby provinces.

Ban Phokhru Plueang Chairatsami (บ้านพ่อครูเปลื้อง ฉายรัศมี) Khru Plueang Chairatsami was declared a National Artist in 1986 in the field of folk music. He built a farmer’s hut to be used as a traditional music school. The hut also displays traditional musical instruments such as Phin (lute), Khaen (reed organ), So (bowed stringed instrument) and Pong Lang (northeastern style xylophone).

Mueang Fa Daet Song Yang (เมืองฟ้าแดดสงยาง) It is an ancient town surrounded by earthen mounds with the length of about 5 kilometres. Evidence for its civilization are religious ruins in and around the city such as a large number of sandstone boundary markers with bas-

Wat Pho Chai Semaram (วัดโพธิ์ชัยเสมาราม) or Wat Ban Kom (วัดบ้านก้อม) It is an old temple with a huge collection of old boundary stones of gigantic sizes. The boundary stones found in Fa Daet Song Yang are different from those discovered in other regions, as they were usually carved telling Jataka stories and the life of the Lord Buddha.

Lam Pao Dam (เขื่อนลำปาว) The dam was built to block Lam Pao - the Pao River - and Huai Yang – Yang Creek. The dam was constructed particularly for relieving flood problems and for agriculture.

Lam Pao Wildlife Conservation Development and Promotion Station (สถานีพัฒนาและส่งเสริมการอนุรักษ์สัตว์ป่าลำปาว) or Suan Sa-on (สวนสะออน) It is quite an abundant deciduous dipterocarp forest. Inside is an open zoo in which there are indigenous wild animals and also other fauna like gibbons, monkeys, various kinds of domestic and migratory birds, along with nature trails.

Phu Phra Forest Park (วนอุทยานภูพระ) It features an outstanding mountain located near the villages. The plain on the backside of the mountain houses an ancient stone Buddha image. Some of the sites in the forest park include:

Pha Sawoei (ผาเสวย) It is an expansive stone cliff, about 150-200 metres wide. It is a breathtaking sightseeing spot.

Tham Siam Sap (ถ้ำเสียมสับ) It is a cliff cave that looks like somebody had dug the cave with a spade or ‘Siam’.

Tham Phra Rot (ถ้ำพระรอด) It is a cave that occurred due to the separation of a stone cliff. Inside the cave, there is a walkway of about 2 metres wide and 30 metres long.

Pha Hin Yaek (ผาหินแยก) It is a separating cliff of 20 metres long and 6 metres deep. The leaning cliff is also a good sightseeing spot.

Tham Phra (ถ้ำพระ) It is a cave 30 metres in depth. There is a Buddha image that is highly revered by locals. Every year during the Songkran Festival, people would ascend to the cave to pour lustral water on the Buddha image to pay respect.

Sirindhorn Museum and Phu Kum Khao Dinosaur Excavation Site (พิพิธภัณฑ์สิรินธร และแหล่งขุดค้นไดโนเสาร์ภูกุ้มข้าว) More than 700 fossilized bones were found in this excavation site and they were assumed to belong to seven dinosaurs. As such, Phu Kum Khao is considered to be the largest and most perfect concentration of dinosaur fossils in Thailand.

Phutthasathan Phu Sing (พุทธสถานภูสิงห์) It is a large image in the subduing Mara posture that is 10.5 metres wide and is clearly visible from below. The surrounding area is shady and offers a lovely panoramic view.

Wat Phutthanimit (วัดพุทธนิมิต) (Phu Khao – ภูค่าว)) It houses a rock relief of an ancient reclining Buddha image leaning on his left side, which is about 2 metres long and 25 centimetres wide. Every year in April, there will be a bathing ceremony to celebrate the Buddha image.

Laem Non Wiset (แหลมโนนวิเศษ) It is the land that stretches into Lam Pao Dam’s reservoir. Laem Non Wiset is a good sunset watching spot.

Ban Phon Phrae Wa Silk Weaving Group (กลุ่มทอผ้าไหมแพรวาบ้านโพน) Phrae Wa silk is a unique style of the Phu Thai ethnic group of Ban Phon. It is divided into two patterns: Lai Lak (principal pattern) and Lai Thaep (stripe pattern). It can be considered that Phrae Wa silk is a rare handcrafted textile product in Thailand.

Pha Sawoei (ผาเสวย) Their Majesties the King and the Queen visited the cliff and had lunch here, so the place’s name was changed to ‘Pha Sawoei’ (Sawoei is a royal term for eating). As it is located in the deep valley with a high cliff, the locals also called it ‘Heo Ham Hot’.

Namtok Pha Nang Khoi (น้ำตกผานางคอย) It is a huge waterfall, beautifully cascading down from the Phu Phan mountain range. It is surrounded with abundant thick forest. There is water all year round, even in the dry season.

Namtok Tat Thong (น้ำตกตาดทอง) It is a huge and beautiful waterfall with complex stone cliffs.

Phu Thai Nong Hang Handicraft Centre (ศูนย์หัตถกรรมผู้ไทยหนองห้าง) Some of the beautiful basketry products include ‘Krato’ – a vegetable container, ‘Kratip’ – a sticky rice container, handbags and other containers.

Phu Thai Khok Kong Cultural Village (หมู่บ้านวัฒนธรรมผู้ไทยโคกโก่ง) is a small village situated at the hillside and inhabited by a large number of Phu Thai ethnic group.

Phu Faek Forest Park (วนอุทยานภูแฝก) (Dinosaur Footprints – แหล่งรอยเท้าไดโนเสาร์) is located in Tambon Phu Laen Chang, with alternate mountainous and hilly topography covered with a deciduous dipterocarp forest featuring various kinds of flora and it is easy to spot some wild animals such as squirrels, tree shrews, civets and hares. At present, there are 4 Dinosaur footprints that can be seen clearly.

Local Products

Kalasin has various kinds of local products such as Phrae Wa silk, Mudmee silk, Khit textile, basketry products, pounded pork and beef.

Culture

Festivals

Kalasin Pong Lang, Phrae Wa and Red Cross Fair (งานมหกรรมโปงลาง แพรวา และกาชาด จังหวัดกาฬสินธุ์) is held annually in February in front of the city hall. The festival features a colourful parade of each district decorated with a gigantic-sized Pong Lang – folk vertical xylophone, people dressed in traditional clothes, cultural competition, beauty pageant.

Wichit Phrae Wa Silk Festival (งานมหกรรมวิจิตรแพรวาราชินีแห่งไหม) is held annually on August 12, at Rim Pao Hotel to honour H.M. Queen Sirikit who has kindly supported the Phrae Wa silk under her royal patronage and promoted it to wider public awareness. The Queen’s support also helps to create employment for local Phu Thai people.

External links

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