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Tilokarat (full name: Phaya Tilokarat , พ ญาติ โลก ราช or Phrachao Tilokarat , พระเจ้า ติ โลก ราช shortly Tilok * 1409, † May 27, 1487) was from 1441 to 1487, the ninth king of the Mengrai dynasty of Lan Na in the Northern region of present-day Thailand .


King Sam Fang Kaen had ten children by different women, who were given a number in the order of their birth, from Thao Ai (Prince One) to Thao Lok (Prince Six) to Thao Sip (Prince Ten) . From these the king Thao Ai (Prince Four) had chosen as successor. However, Thao Ai died at the age of 19. So the king sent four of his sons to rule city-states ( mueang ) of his empire. Thao Lok was sent to Mueang Phrao, but was later transferred to Mueang Yuam Thai (the southern part of the Yuam Valley, Mae Hong Son Province ) as punishment for disobedience .

In 1441, with the help of Nai Samdekyoi, a Chiang Mai nobleman, Thao Lok ousted his father from the throne in his absence. On Saturday, May 19, 1442 he was crowned king under the name Maha Sri Sa-Thammaratcha. However, he was only known by his birth name: King Tilok, also King Tilokarat (short for Tilokaracha ).

Thao Choi, a younger brother of Tilokarat, claimed the throne and tried to secure the help of King Borommaracha II of Ayutthaya . The attempt to conquer Chiang Mai was in vain.


Although he was a usurper , the reign of King Tilok is considered to be Lan Na's Golden Age. He enlarged and consolidated his empire by conquering Mueang Nan and at the same time Mueang Phrae and incorporating them into his empire. To the west it reached into today's Shan State of Myanmar , to the north to Chiang Rung .

In 1451 Tilokarat forged an alliance with the ruler of Phitsanulok , Phraya Yuthisathian. Together they attacked Pak Yom, today's Phichit , to the south . In 1460 they were joined by the ruler of Chaliang in Sukhothai , but the battles for Kamphaeng Phet and Phitsanulok that flared up afterwards were ultimately unsuccessful. The new king of Ayutthaya, Borommatrailokanat , opened his court in Phitsanulok in 1463 to face the impending danger. When he was ordained as a Buddhist monk in 1465, he asked Tilokarat for the eight props a monk needed, but Tilokarat refused them. In 1474 Borommatrailokanat retook Chaliang and the following year the fighting ended.

Lan Na Buddhism reached its heyday under King Tilok. He supported the monks of the new Langkawong sect, which was founded by monks who had experienced a new type of ordination in Sri Lanka and who had specialized in the study of the Pali canon . He founded numerous temples, such as Wat Maha Potharam (better known as Wat Chet Yot ), Wat Pa Tan and Wat Pa Daeng. In 1477 he held the Eighth World Council of Buddhists in Chiang Mai, which lasted a full year.

King Tilokarat brought the Emerald Buddha , today the most revered Buddha statue in Thailand, from Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang and set it up in Wat Chedi Luang in the center of Chiang Mai.


King Tilokarat died on Sunday, May 27, 1487 at the age of 78. He had ruled the Kingdom of Lan Na for 46 years, a time when Lan Na grew and prospered in every way. His cremation was held at Wat Chet Yot , where a large chedi was later built where his ashes were buried.

The king had only one son, Pho Thao Si Bun Rueang, who ruled Chiang Rai. This in turn had a son named Pho Thao Yot Chiang Rai, who was born in 1456/1457. At the age of 32, he was crowned the successor of King Tilok on Monday, May 7th, 1487 under the name Phrachao Yot Chiang Rai.


Individual evidence

  1. In the Jinakālamālī Chronicle only the year is noted. The Chiang Mai Chronicle, on the other hand, gives the full date, which is illogical. Hans Penth assumes it will be Sunday May 27th. (Hans Penth: The Abdication of Phayā Tilōk. In: Journal of the Siam Society. Vol. 83, 1995, ISSN  0857-7099 , pp. 209-214, online (PDF; 110; 112 kB) .)
  2. Year after Ongsakul: History of Lan Na , the Chiang Mai Chronicle gives 1442.
  3. Date according to the Chiang Mai Chronicle
  4. Date according to the Jinakālamālī Chronicle (Hans Penth: The Abdiction of Phaya Tilok - why the coronation happened about two weeks before Tilokarat's death is not known). In the Chiang Mai Chronicle, the coronation day is March 24, 1488.