Somdej Buddha Style Amulets

Phra Somdej Toh Buddha Amulets from Thailand

[Page updated 3 March 2024]

The two pendants above are in the classic Somdej Toh style with a meditating Buddha sitting on coils of naga (serpent, sometimes snake – cobra). There are several styles of Somdej – 73 in fact! These images above show very rare Thai pendants of black and brown petrified wood, millions of years old, and are available at our Somdej Products list HERE.

Don’t miss our very rare brown petrified wood Somdej Buddha pendants in unblossomed lotus flower shape – HERE.

We also have 17 traditional Somdej Toh style brown PETRIFIED WOOD Buddhas – HERE.

Somdej Phra Buddhacarya, also known as Somdej Toh Brahmaramsi was a Theravada (Maha Nikaya) Buddhist monk who lived in Thailand in the Ayutthaya province north of Bangkok. Phra Somdej Toh was a very influential monk who left a legacy behind so great that his pendants have become highly sought after in every form, even copies of his pendants can have immense value and some say, power.

Somdej Toh Petrified Wood Buddha Amulet 12 - WLK Collection
Item #SOMTOHREC6 – Rectangle Somdej Toh amulet. Approx. 3 – 4 cm high. From Wat Larn Kuat Temple in Sisaket, Thailand. ©

Somdej Toh was born on 4/17/1788 (Thais say 17/4/2331) in a small Amphoe (Ampur) “Tha Ruea” in Ayutthaya province. He lived for eighty-four years and died on 6/22/1872 (22/6/2415 in Buddhist years) in Central Thailand – Bangkok in the Bang Khum Phrom district.

Characteristics of Somdej Toh Amulets

  • very smooth lines of Buddha
  • minimalistic details of Buddha
  • seated on 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 9 raised platforms (levels)
  • archway is sometimes over the Buddha
  • legs sometimes curved in what appears to be a figure-8 or infinity symbol
  • Buddha’s ears are sometimes VERY long (wisdom)
  • Bodhi leaves around the head and above in some amulets

The information available online for this monk is scarce from sources that are usually packed with information about famous Buddhist monks.

Some of the information below might be in error. I think that is the normal situation for much of the information about Buddhist monks and other figures online because much of what is passed around is a myth, and interpreted in various ways.

Somdej Toh was said to be possibly the son of King Rama I or II. At the young age of thirteen Somdej became a monk (bpen bpoo-ut).

After a period of intense study of the original Buddhist scriptures from the Pali Canon with a number of revered Theravada Buddhist Monks, he became a teacher for Prince Mongkut (Phra Chom Klao) who later became King Rama IV. Somdej was then known as Maha Toh, the “King’s monk”.

At this point, his name was changed officially to, “Phra Phra Buddhacharn Toh Phomarangsi.”

Though early information is scant, there is no doubt that besides the Buddha himself, the Somdej Toh style pendants are generally more sought after than any other.

We certainly see a lot of them around the necks of Thais in the country and we probably sell as many Somdej pendants as we do some others combined.

Phra Somdej Toh’s temple was, “Wat Rakhang Kositararm.” This temple is located in Bangkok, across the river from the “Grand Palace” temple.

Small Somdej Toh Buddha statue made of solid iron.
A small Somdej Toh cast iron statue about 1.5 inches high (4 cm) which is very popular. We have just a couple of these left. ©

The belief in the power of this Buddhist monk’s pendants is legendary.

In the Buddhist year 2406 (1863 in the west) and for a period of nine years he created some very specific designs of Buddhist (Buddha) pendants out of clay and other materials mixed with clay. It is these pendants that today are very well known, powerful, and expensive to rent (own).

In 1872 (Buddhist year 2415) he received the ceremonious title, “Somdej Phra Puttajarn Toh.” This is the pinnacle for Theravada Buddhist monks.

It is said that during his lifetime he made over 80,000 Phra Somdej pendants in an incredible seventy-three different pendant styles.

Today, over a hundred years later, there are many original Somdej pendants left in existence because people who had them took good care of them. Some in Bangkok sell for over a million Thai baht. Some sell for over a million dollars USD. They are very much in demand for originals.

As a result of their value, they are also replicated by nefarious scammers as well. There are far faker Somdej Toh pendants on the market than there were ever authentic amulets.

Keep in mind there is a difference between fakes that are made by those wishing to scam the public and those that are made with permission by the monks at the temple where he resided. Many Thai Buddhist temples across the country are given special permission to create replicas of the Somdej-style amulets.

We occasionally have some of these officially sanctioned replicas here to sell, but not so often as they sell quickly and we cannot find more in a short time.

We never sell original Somdej Toh, we are not capable of assessing whether they are truly originals, so we don’t try to sell those that are said to be authentic originals.

If you would like to see which Somdej Toh pendants we have, we have most of them here at our website. Here you can see some very rare Somdej pendant replicas made from materials you will probably never see anywhere but here – white jade, black petrified wood, and brown petrified wood.

We have 17 traditional Somdej Toh style brown petrified wood Buddhas – HERE.

We have access to a large 4-5 kg petrified wood statue of Buddha. Read about our Thai Buddha Statues here.

[All images © 2008]

1 thought on “Somdej Buddha Style Amulets”

  1. Hi can you recommend to me the original and powerful somdej? please explain to me the benefit we use this amulet..which monk make it and the year..Thankyou.


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