Mangrai ( Thai: พญา มั ง ราย, Phaya Mangrai, including: Meng Rai, พญา เม็ง ราย; * 1238 or 1239 Ngoen Yang, † 1311 or 1317 in Chiang Mai ) was the founder of the northern Thai kingdom of Lan Na.

Origin, conquest and Empire

Mangrai was the son of Tai Yuan ruler of Ngoen Yang - born - a city-state ( Müang ) on the territory of today's Chiang Saen in the far north of Thailand. His mother was the daughter of the ruler of the Tai Lue of Chiang Hung (or Chiang Rung, today Jinghong ) in Sipsong Panna ( Xishuangbanna Chinese ). He ascended the throne after the death of his father in 1259th

He quickly won the dominance of the small kingdoms of the neighbors, in 1262, he brought Chiang Tung (now Keng Tung ), a state of Lawa under his control. Beginning in 1263, he founded Chiang Rai ( "City of ( Mang ) Rai " ) as the capital of his newly formed Kingdom of Lan Na ( Land of a Million Fields ). 1268 he cared about in 1268 for the construction of a new city fishing west of Chiang Rai. Mangrai attended by diplomatic and military means for a constant expansion of his empire, much like his contemporary competitor Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai.

In catch him dealers reported the prosperity of the country Hariphunchai, who was then leading political, economic and cultural power in what is now northern Thailand. This aroused the covetousness Mangrai and he thought of a ruse to weaken and take Hariphunchai can. He sent his aide Ai Fa after Hariphunchai where it rose to become confidant of the king Yiba. In order to weaken Hariphunchai by resentment and discord, Ai Fa arranged on behalf of the King to the system of a complex irrigation system and ordered the population to be hard labor. The resulting evoked popular anger on the king made it possible that Mangrai Hariphunchai occupied. According to the chronicle of Chiang Mai this was 1281/82, according to Jinakalamali Chronicle 1292 /93. Historians consider the latter figure is more plausible. With the conquest of the thriving Hariphunchai Mangrai Empire took over the role of the leading power in the north of present-day Thailand.

Consolidation of the rule

Mangrai concluded a mutual assistance pact in 1287, the " Three Kings Agreement" ( sanya sam Kasat ), with two other Tai kings, Ramkhamhaeng of Sukhothai and Ngam Mueang Phayao against the Mongols. Presumably, the three agreed there is also a delimitation of their spheres of interest. Also, with the ancient kingdoms of the Mon Hongsawadi ( Pegu ) and the Shan of Ava, he formed strategic alliances.

After five years resided previously in Wiang Kum Kam, a settlement in a former arch of the Maenam Ping, he founded in 1296 Chiang Mai ( " new city ", now the largest city in northern Thailand) and donated numerous temples, including Wat Chiang Man.

In 1301 the Mongols under Kublai Khan tried, Mangrai Empire to subjugate, that was the last independent southern neighbor of China. Mangrai managed to ward the two years of attacks by the Mongols. These had to be led by Mangrai son, the one white and more tamed elephants and local produce from Chiang Mai and Chiang Hung brought. Tribute with a delegation The envoys from Lan Na received as a gift in return, leather and fur clothing and shoes. While China is considered the southern neighbors due to this relationship as vassals, the Tai Yuan of Lan Na saw continued as independent.

At the end of Mangrai rule his empire stretched across what is now northern Thailand addition to the south of Yunnan and the eastern Shan States. However, it was not a centralized state but rather a federation of princes individual Müang that Mangrai had sworn allegiance due to personal dependency or relationship (Mandala model). Political institutions or administrative structures that were beyond the personal relationships of loyalty, there was not. Also it can not be regarded as a Thai state, as the majority of the population was found in the core area of Mon and Lawa. Mangrai probably initiated the first steps towards creating a system of binding rules for worldly affairs in Lan Na. That the later force in Lan Na, Mangrai - sat ( "Laws king Mangrai " ) called legal code actually goes back to Mangrai, however, is historically very unlikely. The cohesion of the empire was strongly dependent on the charismatic personality and leadership Mangrai who managed to prevent independence aspirations of the vassal Müang.

Death and legacy

Mangrai died in 1311 (according to Jinakalamali Chronicle ) or 1317 (according to the Chronicle of Chiang Mai ). He is said to have been taken in his capital by lightning. After his death, the principalities of Lü, Khuen and Shan detected at the edges of the empire no longer the supremacy Lan Nas, and suspended their tribute deliveries. The Federation also disintegrated into rival centers of power, as Mangrai eldest son Chaiyasongkhram did not want to move to Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai but that his residence had been to his father's lifetime, made the capital. In Chiang Mai instead ruled his son Saenphu. During the North East Lan Nas from Chiang Rai from controlled, was the South West of Chiang Mai was dependent. Only at the end of the 14th century Lan Na was again a uniform rule. The substantiated by Mangrai Dynasty ruled Lan Na until the 16th century. Then the kingdom came under Burmese control.