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India and Thailand share civilisational links. Movements of people, priests and traders along with diffusion, interchange of ideas and trade, have taken place over the centuries in both directions. Ahoms, a tribe of North-Eastern India are believed to be migrants from Thailand some 800 years ago.

References are found in ancient Indian literature about Thailand as Svarnabhumi or the Golden Land. In 329 BC, Emperor Ashoka sent Bhikkhus Sona and Uttara to Svarnabhumi to spread the message of Buddhism. Today, Buddhism is the official religion of Thailand. The shared link of Buddhism is reflected in the regular pilgrimages to places of Buddhist interest India by Thais.

Hindu elements are reflected in Thai architecture, arts, sculpture, dance, drama, mythology and literature. Thai language's links with Pali and Sanskrit are particularly noticeable in the terminology connected with state-craft, science and technology. Ramakien, a Thai national epic is derived from Ramayana and has important influence on the Thai literature, art and drama. Several socio-cultural habits and festivals of the Thai and Indian people are similar.

His Majesty the King Chulalongkorn (Rama V) visited India in 1872. During the reign of King Vajiravuddh (Rama VI) a senior court official visited India to collect a relic of Lord Buddha that has been enshrined in the Wat Sri Saket Pagoda in Bangkok. Indian Nobel Prize-winning poet Pandit Rabindranath Tagore visited Thailand in 1927. After his visit the Thai-Bharat Cultural Lodge was established in 1930.

In 1956 the Indian Government invited the Thai Government to construct a Thai monastery at Bodh Gaya. The offer was graciously accepted and India provided 4.5 acres of land for this purpose.

Many of the Indian classics and works by Mahatma Gandhi, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru and Rabindra Nath Tagore have been translated into Thai. A leading Indologist Prof. Karuna Kusalyasaya, has translated a number of Indian works into Thai. There are a number of Thai scholars and monks who have studied Indian art, culture and the Sanskrit language.

To strengthen these age-old cultural ties, a Cultural Agreement between India and Thailand was signed in April 1977. Cultural exchanges have, been taking place supported by the Indian and Thai governments, the Indian-Thai community and lovers of Indian arts.

An year long Festival of India was held in Thailand in 1996 as India's contribution towards the Golden Jubilee Celebrations of His Majesty the King of Thailand's accession to the throne during which a major exposition of the Sacred Relics of lord Buddha from India was held in Putthamonthon Thailand. A reciprocal month long festival of Thailand was subsequently held in India in 1997.

The leading Thai Universities offer courses in Sanskrit, Hindi and in Indian studies. An Indian Studies Centre was inaugurated at the Thammasat University in 1993 during the visit of Prime Minister Narasimha Rao. The Silpakorn University has a Sanskrit Studies Centre. The Mahidol University has started a Masters Programme in Indian Studies since 2007.

Thailand is among the favourite destinations for shooting of a large number of Indian films.

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