City Pillar (Lak Meuang) and the first Jatukam amulets
There are many stories on how the City Pillar (Lak Meuang) and the first Jatukam amulets were made. One story tells of Police Maj Gen Sanpetch Thammikun, the provincial police chief during the 1980s, going to Wat Nang Phraya during a shamanistic ritual. The medium, a woman, told the policeman to come back. When he did come back later the woman wasn't there, but had been replaced by a new medium claiming to be the spirit of the military leader for the B.E. 17th century Nakhon Si Thammarat king. The police general came a third time, and the second medium claimed to be yet another spirit - Jatukam, who instructed him to lead the construction of a city pillar. However, the spirit advised him that first he should consult with Police Maj Gen Khun Pantarakrachadej (also known as Ajarn Khun Phan), who was thought to be a master of Buddhist magical arts (Puttakom). This is believed by some to be the reason why Jatukam Ramathep was chosen to be a model for the amulet images when the campaign to raise funds for the city pillar was launched. The city pillar was partly completed in 1986, and the original Jatukam amulets were made in 1987. It was circular pendant a five-centimetres in diameter, and was priced at 49 baht. Now many are sold for more than 100,000 baht each. In the past only very few Jatukam amulets were produced, but after Police Maj Gen Khun Pantarakrachadej (Khun Phan) passed away recently at the age of 103 (some say 108), the amulets again became very popular.