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The Trail to the History : Indian Influence on Thailand

The Trail to the History : Indian Influence on Thailand

indian influence

Indian culture has performed an essential part in shaping many aspects of Thailand, including ceremonies, religion, language, literature, dance and food. How about we take you for a quick peek down history lane to emit some knowledge on the subject.


Multiple ceremonies that are significant to Thai culture have been adopted from Indian folklore, including celebrations of marriage, classification, merit-making, and incineration. Thai cultures’ most prominent influence comes from the Lord Buddha but is also inspired by Hindu idols and Hindu rituals, especially those involving the grand commemorations.


Buddhism was born in ancient Hindustan before reaching beyond Asia. Today over 95% of Thailand’s culture practise Theravada Buddhism, which has blended with folk faith and Chinese beliefs. The Thai Constitution includes a religious right for its people, however, still to this day the King of Thailand is needed by law to be Theravada Buddhist.


The language was created by King Ramkhamhaeng the Great by moulding it on ancient Indian Sanskrit and Pali alphabets. The Thai language was also heavily inspired by Khmer, Malay, English, and Chinese. Refined over the past 700 years, the Thai alphabet consists today of 59 characters. It is a tonal language, saying the same word in a different expression has a separate definition.

Literature & Dance

Folkloric Thai literature and theatre have been massively inspired by the arts and legends of India. Thai literature was only affected with a few subjects; with religion, nobility and royalty, before a turn where prose became one of the chosen modes of writing. The Ramakien is one of the most famous Thai literary themes which originated from the Hindu epic Ramayana from India. This involves the ‘Khon’ and ‘Lakhon’ classical Thai dances from the Ramakien.


With its own set of unique cuisine which includes rich, pungent, sour, and tangy tastes. It has emerged from India and Chinese influences. The impacts of international trade played an active part and it is gathered that Buddhist monks from India, first got the curry to Thailand. The most famous curries now are the Thai red curry which comprises of dried spices, including nutmeg and cinnamon and many more savouries.

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