Ram Khamhaeng: Know more about the greatest ruler of Sukhothai Kingdom, Thailand
Ram Khamhaeng was the third ruler of the Phra Ruang Dynasty, Sukhothai Kingdom.
King Ram Khamhaeng the Great, also known as Pho Khun Ram Khamhaeng Maharat, was one of the greatest leaders ever lived in Thailand. The king, during his reign from 1279 to 1298, built a strong military army and expanded the kingdom to the Lampang, Phrae and Nan in the north, Nakhon Si Thammarat Kingdom in the south, Vientiane and Phitsanulok in the east and Mon kingdoms (present-day Myanmar) in the west. Also, he formed triple alliances with outside powers such as Ngam Muang of Phayao and Mangrai of Chiang Rai. On the other side, the king was a man of great personality, strong vision and kind heart. He did a lot to push the entire land grow in various fields such as art, science, agriculture etc. He also developed a number of projects to improve the socio-economic scenarios in the kingdom. Now, read ahead to learn more about him.
According to The Royal Institute of Thailand, Ram Khamhaeng’s birth name was just ‘Ram’.
His father was Pho Khun Bang Klang Hao who founded the Sukhothai Kingdom in 1238. Khamhaeng’s elder brother Ban Mueang ruled the kingdom following their father’s death. At that time, he had control over the city of Si Satchanalai. After the death of Mueang, Ram Khamhaeng succeeded the throne in the year 1279.
The king, during 1282 – 1323, sent a number of embassies to Yuan China to bring the techniques of ceramic making to Thailand. Then, he established a ceramic ware industry, known as the “Sangkhalok ware”, in the Sukhothai Kingdom. This industry helped the kingdom’s economy to flourish enormously.
He had close friendship with King Ngam Muang of Phayao and King Mangrai of Lan Na. The three kings worked together to build the Chiang Mai city. You can find their bronze sculptures at the Three Kings Monument located in the heart of Chiang Mai.
Ram Khamhaeng created the Thai alphabet by combining the Pali, Sanskrit and Grantha alphabets.
He devoted his entire life in promoting the teachings of Theravada Buddhism. Also, he established it as the state religion of his kingdom.
The Ram Khamhaeng stele, which now belongs to the Bangkok National Museum, contains inscriptions which provide numerous information about the king. The inscription is considered as the single most important document in the history of Thailand.
Ramkhamhaeng University, which is known as the first open University in Thailand, was named after the Great King Ram Khamhaeng.