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King of Ayutthaya kingdom
King of Siam
Reign 1448–1488
Predecessor Somdet Phra Boromma Ratchathirat II
Successor Somdet Phra Borommaracha III
Issue Borommaracha
Full name
Somdet Phra Ramesuan Boromma Trailokkanat Bophit
House Suphannaphum Dynasty
Father Somdet Phra Boromma Ratchathirat II
Born 1431
Ayutthaya, Thailand
Died 1488
Ayutthaya, Thailand

Borommatrailokkanat[1][2][3][4] (Thai: บรมไตรโลกนาถ) (1431–1488) was the king of Ayutthaya from 1448 to 1488. He was one of many monarchs who gained the epithet King of White Elephants (Thai: พระเจ้าช้างเผือก), due to his acquisition of auspicious white elephant. His reign was also known for a massive reforms of Siamese bureaucracy and a successful campaign against Lanna. He was also revered as one of the greatest monarchs of Siam.

King of Sukhothai[edit]

Prince Ramesuan (not to be confused with King Ramesuan r. 1369–1370) was born in 1431 to King Borommaracha Thirat II or Chao Sam Phraya and his queen from the Kingdom of Sukhothai. He became the Uparaja (lit. vice-king of crown prince) in 1438. When his cousin, Thammaracha IV of Sukhothai died in 1438, Ramesuan was then technically the king of Sukhothai – though he was too young to be crowned. Upon reaching majority, Borommaracha II sent Ramesuan to Pitsanulok to assume the Sukhothai throne.

Borommaracha II died in 1448, Prince Ramesuan was then crowned as King Trailokkanat of Ayutthaya – thus a personal union between Sukhothai and Ayutthaya.


Main article: Chatusadom


Trailokkanat reformed the Siamese bureaucracy – the system lasted well into the 19th century. He separated civil and military officials, giving them titular ranks and feudal ranks to create the hierarchy of nobility. He also established the circle of cities ranging from the Inner Cities, Outer Cities, to Tributaries. Trailokkanat also ceased the tradition of appointing royal princes to govern cities, as they had always clashed with each other in times of succession. Trailokkanat promulgated the Ayutthayan Law in 1458.

The traditional ministries of Thailand - the Kalahom for the military and the Mahatthai for civilian duties - were introduced by Trailok.

Feudal rank[edit]

Also in his reign in 1454, the Thai royal and noble titles were first codified under the "field-power" system called Sakdina (ศักดินา). Fields (Na) were reckoned in Rai (a plantation, equal to 1600 square metres under metrificattion of traditional measures.) Petty officials were accorded a Sakdi (power), of 1, 50 or 400, extending up to 100,000 rai for the Uparat (heir-apparent). This system continued until the reforms of King Chulalongkorn at the beginning of the 20th century.

Royal rank[edit]

Trailokkanat adopted the position of Uparaja, translated as "viceroy" or "underking", usually held by the king's senior son or full brother, in an attempt to regularize the succession to the throne — a particularly difficult feat for a polygamous dynasty. In practice, there was inherent conflict between king and uparaja, and frequent disputed successions.

Tributary relationships of Cities[edit]

In 1468, Trailok adopted a Mandala-style tributary system, and ranked the cities recognizing him as overlord. Phitsanulok and Nakhon Sri Thamarat were listed among the eight great first-rank cities (Phraya maha nakhon). Mueang Sing, Mueang In and Mueang Phrom were downgraded to be the level of four cities (เมืองจัตวา) under Lopburi.

Foreign relations[edit]

In 1455, Trailokkanat sent envoys to the Sultanate of Malacca. The Siamese had been suspicious of the sultanate since its conversion to Islam. The expedition was mentioned in Portuguese chronicles, written several years later, as not of great significance.[5]

Wars with Lanna[edit]

Main article: Ayutthaya-Lanna War

Yuttittira – a Sukhothai royalty and Trailokkanat’s relative - was a close childhood friend of Trailokkanat. Trailokkanat himself promised him the title of Uparaja. However, after Trailokkanat’s reformes, Yuttittira ended up in the title of the Governor of Pichit. Yuttittira also claimed to be the rightful king of Sukhothai.

The Lanna kingdom under Tilokaraj was so powerful that he led armies down south to subjugate Ayutthaya. In 1456, Yuttittira sought Tilokaraj’s support and led Lanna armies to capture Sukhothai and proceeded further towards Ayutthaya. Trailokkanat, however, led Ayutthayan armies to successfully defeat the Lanna armies.

Phrachao Tilokarat, of Muang Chiang Mai , and Phraya Yuttittira, governor of Muang Sawankhalok (Chaliang) led the Lan Na armies to invade Ayutthaya but without achieving fruitful results and retreated. Trailokanat then took this opportunity to retake Sukhothai. Trailokanat, upon seeing the seriousness of the wars, made Pitsanulok his base, moving the capital from Ayutthaya.[6]:69-70

Trailokkanat, accompanied by more than 2,000 followers, was the first Siamese king to be ordained as a monk. The ordination took place at Wat Chula Manee in 1461.

In 1463, the Lanna invaded again. Trailokkanat sent his son, Prince Indraracha, to crush the invading armies. Indraracha defeated Yuttittira but was in turn killed during battles against Nagara – Tilokaraj’s uncle.

Lanna then, however, was plunged by her own internal princely conflicts. In 1474, Trailokkanat finally expelled the Lanna out of his kingdom. Next year, Tilokaraj sought peace settlements.

In Phitsanulok, Trailokkanat ordered the establishment of new temples, as well as the restoration of existing older ones. He ordered the construction a chedi and other buildings on the campus of Wat Ratchaburana, for example.


In 1485, Trailokkanat appointed his son Prince Chaiyachetta (later Ramathibodi II) as the Uparaja and King of Sukhothai. The title "King of Sukhothai" then became a title for Ayutthayan Crown Prince. However, upon Trailokkanat's death in 1488, his two sons inherited the two kingdoms, thus separating the union once again.

Among the institutions named for Trailokkanat include:


  1. ^ Benjawan Poomsan Becker, Roengsak Thongkaew (2008). Thai law for foreigners (in Thai). Bangkok: Paiboon Publishing. p. 166. ISBN 9781887521574. 
  2. ^ "An Overview of Government and Politics in Thailand". Royal Thai Embassy, Seoul. 2014. Retrieved 2015-05-06. 
  3. ^ Juliane Schober (2002). Sacred Biography in the Buddhist Traditions of South and Southeast Asia. Hawaii: University of Hawai'i Press. p. 196. ISBN 8120818121. 
  4. ^ Forrest McGill, Pattaratorn Chirapravati (2005). "The kingdom of Siam: the art of central Thailand, 1350-1800". Snoeck: Peabody Essex Museum. pp. 54, 65, 119. 
  5. ^
  6. ^ Rajanubhab, D., 2001, Our Wars With the Burmese, Bangkok: White Lotus Co. Ltd., ISBN9747534584


Born: 1431 Died: 1488
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Boromma Ratchathirat II
King of Ayutthaya
Succeeded by
Borommaracha III
Preceded by
Crown Prince
King of Sukhothai

First Reign 1438–1456
Succeeded by
Preceded by
King of Sukhothai
Second Reign 1474–1485
Succeeded by
Ramathibodi II