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Kavila Monument

Chiang Mai Attractions | Chiang Mai attractions

Kavila, a son of the ruler of Lampang, joined with the King of Siam to fight against the Burmese and in 1775 drove them from the city of Chiang Mai and most of the other cities in the Kingdom of Lanna. It was, however twenty-nine years before the last of the Burmese were expelled from the country.

Kavila ruled as King of Chiang Mai from 1781 - 1813. He was a vassal of the King of Siam which meant he had to go to Bangkok once every three years - no great hardship as he could do his shopping. Several other rulers in the north were in turn Kavila's vassals.

Chiang Mai, under-populated, largely destroyed and short of food was abandoned for twenty years until, in 1797, Kavila ceremoniously re-entered the city and the fortifications that can be seen today date from that period.

The Kavila Monument fittingly stands in front of the army barracks on the banks of the river Ping. Behind the statue, there is an elegant building that houses a small museum dedicated to this great Thai leader.

The Kavila dynasty ruled Chiang Mai as hereditary princes, although with much reduced authority, until 1939 and members of the family are still influential figures in the north of Thailand.


Last Updated: 02 Oct 2007