Sri Indraditya

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Pho Khun Sri Indraditya
King of Sukhothai
พ่อขุนศรีอินทราทิตย์.jpg
Statue of Sri Indraditya, Sawankhalok, Sukhothai
King of Sukhothai
Reign 1238 – 1270
Predecessor Khmer Empire
Successor Ban Muang
Spouse Nang Suang
Issue Pho Khun Ban Muang
Pho Khun Ram Khamhaeng
and three other children
House Phra Ruang Dynasty
Born  ?
Died 1270

Pho Khun Sri Indraditya (Thai: พ่อขุนศรีอินทราทิตย์ (?  – 1270) ruled the Sukhothai Kingdom from the year 1238 to circa 1270. He is credited as the founder of the Phra Ruang Dynasty, itself credited as the first historical Siamese dynasty, having a double claim to this title: for being cradled precisely in the region designated by foreigners as "Siam" (Khmer: Syāiņ; Chinese: Sien, etc.), and for being the dynasty which freed the Thai principalities from the Cambodian yoke.[1]

Difficulties in interpretation[edit]

Initially known as Pho Khun Bang Klang Thao พ่อขุนบางกลางหาว interpreted as Lord Who Rules Sky, the controversy surrounding this names illustrates the limitations of epigraphy. This science studies inscriptions or epigraphs as writing, to identify graphemes, clarify their meanings, classify their uses according to dates and cultural contexts. Texts inscribed on steles are often missing the top or bottom portions, just where one would expect dates, complicating the drawing of conclusions about the writing and the writers. Specifically excluded from epigraphy are the historical significance of an epigraph as a document, and the artistic value of a literary composition. These complications led to the ruler in early life being simply Hao (หาว).[citation needed]

Life[edit]

He was the vassal Lord of Bang Yang, a territory which belonged to the westernmost regions of the Khmer Empire at that time. The territory now lies around the northern-central region of Thailand.

Khun Bang Klang Thao together with Khun Pha Mueang, the Lord of Rad, decided to rebel and declare independence from Angkor. The Khmer's control and its prohibitive taxes was a crucial motivating factor in the rebellion. Extensive Khmer preoccupation with great architectural works weakened the ability and readiness of Khmer defenses, indirectly aiding the rebellion. Khun Bang Klang Thao captured Si Satchanalai and gave it to Pha Mueang. Pha Mueang reciprocated by giving him Sukhothai.

Khun Bang Klang Hao, was then declared king at Sukhothai, taking a name of Sanskrit origin, Sri Intraditya translated as "The Sun King with the Power of Indra". His skill and bravery greatly impressed the people of the kingdom, who thus conferred him the title Phra Ruang (Glorious Prince). This title was given to all subsequent rulers of Sukhothai, thus giving rise to the first Thai royal dynasty of Phra Ruang .

Sri Intraditya and his queen, Queen Nang Suang, had three sons. The eldest died at a young age, the second was named Ban Muang, and the third son defeated a Khmer prince in an encounter of mounted combat on elephants; he named this youngest son Ram Khamhaeng (Rama the Bold) in tribute to the feat. Sri Intraditya died around 1270, and was succeeded by his son Ban Muang.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cœdès, G. (1921). "The Origins of the Sukhodaya Dynasty". Journal of the Siam Society (Siam Heritage Trust) 14.1. Retrieved March 17, 2013. "(1) The translation of this paper, which has been read at a joint session of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Société Asiatique, and American Oriental Society, and published in the Journal asiatique (April–June 1920), is the work of Mr. J. Crosby, to whom the author begs to tend his heartfelt thanks." 

Further reading[edit]

Sri Indraditya
Born:  ? Died: 1270
Regnal titles
Preceded by
(title created)
King of Sukhothai
1238–1270
Succeeded by
Ban Muang