Mangrai (Lanna: ; Thai: มังราย; 1238–1311), also
known as Mengrai (Thai: เม็งราย),[Note 1] was the 25th
Ngoenyang (r. 1261–1292) and the first king of Lanna (r.
1292–1311). He established a new city, Chiang Mai, as the capital of
the Lanna Kingdom (1296–1558).:195
1 Early years
Chiang Mai Era
3 Death and succession
6 See also
Mangrai was born on October 2, 1238 in Ngoen Yang (present day
Chiang Saen) Thailand on the Mekong River, a son of the local ruler
Lao Meng and his wife Ua Ming Chom Mueang, a princess from the Tai Lue
city of Chiang Rung, which is now called Jinghong, in Sipsongpanna
Mangrai succeeded his father to become the first independent
king of the unified Tai city states in northern Lanna and what is now
northern Laos. Seeing the Tai states were disunited and in danger,
Mangrai quickly expanded his kingdom by conquering Muang Lai, Chiang
Kham and Chiang Khong and initiating alliances with other states.
In 1262, he founded the city of
Chiang Rai as his new capital in the
Kok River basin. He also seems to have been operating around this time
in the area of Fang in the Upper Kok Valley.
Mangrai first made peace between King Ngam Muang of Phayao
and King Ram Khamhaeng of Sukhothai, who had seduced the former's
queen. The three Kings then entered a "Strong pact of
While still living in the area of Fang he was visited by merchants
from the Mon kingdom of
Haripunchai (Haripunjaya, now known as
Lamphun). Hearing of the wealth of that kingdom, he determined to
conquer it, against the advice of his counselors. As it was thought
impossible to take the city by force,
Mangrai sent a merchant named Ai
Fa as a mole to gain the confidence of its King Yi Ba. In time, Ai Fa
became the Chief Minister and managed to undermine the King's
In 1291, with the people in a state of discontent,
the Mon kingdom and added
Haripunchai to his kingdom. Yi Ba, the last
king of Hariphunchai, was forced to flee south to
Chiang Mai Era
After defeating the Hariphunchai kingdom,
Mangrai decided to relocate
his capital, and in 1294,
Wiang Kum Kam
Wiang Kum Kam was founded on the eastern
bank of the Ping River. The site was plagued with floods, and a
new site was chosen several kilometres to the northwest at the foot of
Doi Suthep, on the site of an older fortified town of the Lua
people. Construction of
Chiang Mai (lit. "New City") began in 1296.
and it has been the capital of the northern provinces more or less
A few years later, Yi Ba's son, King Boek of Lampang, attacked Chiang
Mai with a large army. King
Mangrai and his second son, Prince Khram,
led the defence against the
Prince Khram defeated King Boek in personal combat on elephant-back at
Khua Mung, a village near Lamphun. King Boek fled by way of the Doi
Khun Tan mountain range between
Lamphun and Lampang, but he was caught
and executed. King Mangrai's troops occupied the city of Lampang,
and King Yi Ba was made to flee further south, this time to
Death and succession
King Mangrai's eldest son grew tired of waiting and tried to seize the
throne, but his attempt failed and he was executed. Mangrai's second
son, Khun Kham, was then named to succeed Mangrai.
Mangrai died in 1311 in Chiang Mai. According to tradition, he
was struck by lightning during a thunderstorm when he was in the
Mangrai's death was followed by period of confusion, with six kings
ruling in the next eleven years. This could have been disastrous if
the northern powers had not had their own troubles. Sukhothai to the
south had also been weakened.
Not until the ascension of the Mangrai's grandson, Kham Fu, in 1328
did the kingdom achieve the stability it had had during the lifetime
of its founder.
^ The name according to historical sources is "Mangrai", and this is
used in most modern scholarly applications. "Mengrai", popularised by
a 1907 publication, is commonly found in popular usage.
^ a b c d e f g h Wyatt, D. K. Thailand, A Short History, p. 35–38,
Bangkok 2003 Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name
"Wyatt-Thailand" defined multiple times with different content (see
the help page).
Mangrai of Lan Na' in: Forbes, Andrew, and Henley, David,
Chiang Mai Volume 1.
Chiang Mai ,Cognoscenti Books, 2012.
^ a b c Coedès, George (1968). Walter F. Vella, ed. The Indianized
States of Southeast Asia. trans.Susan Brown Cowing. University of
Hawaii Press. ISBN 978-0-8248-0368-1.
^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-01. Retrieved
List of the Kings of Lanna
King of Ngoenyang
King of Lanna
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