Phra Rod is the most famous amulet from Lumpoon Province of Northern Thailand. Phra Nang Cham Thewi the Queen who ruled the city state of Hariphunchai in the north part of Thailand built 4 temples of good fortune to protect the land. She invited 4 great hermits into the ceremony. The 4 hermits have created “Phra Sukaputtapatima” by each own and keep safe in 4 temples North, South, West and East in the purpose to expand Buddha religion. “Phra Sukaputtapatima” is Amulets which were made by the 4 Hermits.  Phra Perm, Phra Bang, Phra Khong, Phra Liang and Phra Rod. These amulets made since B.E.1223 found in Lumpoon province.

Phra Rod of Lumpoon

Phra Rod of Hariphunchai (Lumpoon) Amulet

In B.E.1008 there were 5 hermits, they use to live in monk hood. They entered monk hood to study meditate until success Arpinya 5th Samabut 8 ( Yarn=Class of meditation )and were travel around all over Thailand. They are  Phra Vasuthep, Phra Sukkatunta, Phra Pumarnsree, Phra Puttachadin and  Phra Suddchanarai.

The four temples built by Queen Phra Nang Cham Thewi are:

  1. Wat Dongaw on east side, later called Wat Chetawan (famous temple).  In B.E.2484-5 people have found Phra Perm, Phra Bang, Phra Khong, Phra Liang etc accept Phra Rod.
  2. Wat PhraKhong on north side, later called Wat PhraKhongrorsee. Said that 4 hermits have plan on put Haripoonchai art  here at this temple, people have added the word “rorsee” to temple name (rorsee=hermit).
  3. Wat Mahawan on west side, this is the temple which found Phra Rod amulets.
  4. Wat Phratoolee on sounth side which is used for escape route purpose in war time as “Phratoolee” mean door for retreat.

These 4 temples have all of Lumpoon province amulets and have been found at later time. The 4 hermits have keep their amulets in Wat Dongaw, Wat PhraKhong, Wat Mahawan, Wat Phratoolee. These amulets are beautiful art of Hariphunchai.

The Legend of Queen Cham Thewi

Once upon a time, Suthewa, a hermit of Burapha Nakhon, inadvertently found a baby girl borne by a lotus flower. He took care of the baby until she grew up to be a maiden. The hermit was worried that the people would think that she was his wife. He then placed her on a bamboo raft floating along the Raming River. Fortunately the King of Lavo discovered her. He took care of her and brought her up as foster – daughter. Upon maturity, she was wedded to the King’s son, Prince Kamphotcha.

In the meantime, Burapha Nakhon was stricken by calamity because the King had failed to fulfill the ten virtues of any incumbent king. In fact, the guardian deity was angry, inspiring flood and inundation that resulted in the death of large numbers of people and animals. In response to this, Suthewa, the hermit, invited another hermit, Sukthanta, to found a new city named  Hariphunchai (now known as Lamphun Province) and requested the King of Lavo to appoint Princess Cham Thewi to the new throne of Hariphunchai. Cham Thewi was very pleased and agreed to take the crown, especially since she could meet Suthewa again. Prince Kamphotcha refused to come with her, saying that Suthewa wanted to meet her alone. On her way to Hariphunchai the procession passed along the Raming River and many places were named in honour of Cham Thewi, who had passed the waterway . Those names have survived to this day, for instance, “Ban Tak” is believed to be the place where Princess, Cham Thewi dried her clothes after taking a bath and “Sam Ngao District” is the place where the Princess while pregnant, stayed by the river and when the sun shone on the Princess, it cast shadows of three persons.

Her decedents rule this city until B.E.1330, the city was lost to Ramun Dynasty. Then again in B.E.1824, the city was destroyed King Mengrai 1st. Later time the city was rebuilt by King Mengrai 11th.   As Nakhonphing (In present call “Chiangmai”) was lost to Burma,  Lumpoon was lost as well. Until Lanna era, under King Thonburee, Lumpoon province became part of Thailand. Lumpoon province is one of old place in Thailand which was built more than 1300 years ago. People found many antique items and many amulets.

Phra Rod Amulet -Back

Phra Rod Amulet -Back View

“Phra Rod” the name came from “Narata Rorsee” or “Rorsee Narata” this hermit name was “Narata” change to “NaRod” in later time. Once people found the amulets at Wat Mahawan, they started to call “Phra Rod”.

Legend said that Phra Sukkatunta and Phra Suthewa have a meeting with 108 hermits in the ceremony to create Hariphunchai’s amulets by bringing in 4 clay from different land, 1000 medicines, 1000 herbs, many flowers. All mixed then put in molds, then chant with spell by 108 hermits. These amulets were given among Thai soldiers and people. Phra Rod Amulets are made with smooth clay and have white, red, green, brown colours. From Wat Mahawan, about 1500 amulets were found. There are 5 pim(mold type) Pim Yai, Pim Grang, Pim Lek, Pim Tearn, Pim Tor. PhraRod is one of most famous 5 amulets from Thailand. The amulets bless strong protection, bullet proof and the oldest amulets in the set of Benjapakee.

Phra Rod of Kru (relic chamber) Wat Mahawan Lampon is the Buddha Amulet with the mixed material of earth and tuberous plants. They are delicate little ones with straight and power, made by the craftman of Hariphunchai in the art style of early Lopburi period. Bearing particularly unique beauty of their own.

Benjapakee Grand 5 Amulets

The set of Grand 5 Benjapalkee Amulets

The Buddha amulet provides safety from all danger (PhraRod Yard Nirandtarai) PhraRod from Wat Mahawan is one of the FiveGrand set with PhraSomdej Wat Rakhang as the head, and with other 3 Buddha amulets, namely. Phra Gumpangpeth Soomgor, PhraPhongsuparn, PhraNangphya Phitsanulok. The PhraRod Wat Mahawan are 5 printed in all namely Big Mould, Medium, Small, Tow and Tuen mould.