Maha Sarakham Province
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Maha Sarakham (Thai: มหาสารคาม, pronounced [mā.hǎː sǎː.rá.kʰāːm]; also spelled Mahasarakham) is one of the 76 provinces (changwat) of Thailand. It is in the northeastern (Isan) region of Thailand. Neighbouring provinces are (from north clockwise) Kalasin, Roi Et, Surin, Buriram, and Khon Kaen.
Map of Thailand highlighting Maha Sarakham Province
|• Governor||Saneh Nantachoti (since October 2016)|
|• Total||5,291.7 km2 (2,043.1 sq mi)|
|Area rank||Ranked 42nd|
|• Rank||Ranked 20th|
|• Density||180/km2 (470/sq mi)|
|• Density rank||Ranked 14th|
|Time zone||UTC+7 (ICT)|
|ISO 3166 code||TH-44|
The town of Maha Sarakham is the provincial capital. It is the home of Mahasarakham University, the largest university in northeast Thailand with about 40,000 students, and Rajabhat Mahasarakham University.
Maha Sarakham was originally a satellite town of Roi Et, founded in 1865. The governor of Roi Et sent 9,000 people to populate the new town, and one of his cousins as its governor. In 1868 the central government in Bangkok declared Maha Sarakham a province of its own under the supervision of Bangkok. One of the reasons was that this step weakened the power of Roi Et.
The provincial seal shows a tree in front of rice fields, symbolizing the richness of resources in the province.
The provincial flag shows the seal in the middle, in a brown horizontal strip. Above and below is a yellow strip. The brown color symbolizes the strength and the perseverance of the people in the province, who live in the rather dry climate; the yellow color symbolizes the robes of Buddhist monks as evidence of the faith of the people.