King Naresuan The Great of Ayutthaya


King Naresuan Portrait.


  • Naresuan was born in Phitsanulok City on 25 April 1555 and was the son of a future King of Ayutthaya, King Sanpet 1 [ 1569 ]. At the time Phisanulok was the capital city of the Ayutthaya Kingdom.
  • When Naresuan was 7 the Burmese who then controlled Ayutthaya having conquered it in war, took Naresuan as a captive to Pegu Burma [ Myanmar ], to ensure his father, then a prince, would be compliant to the Burmese. King Bayinnaung, the Burmese King, raised him with the status of a prince and he was trained in the Burmese palace in the martial arts, literature and war strategies. Nine years later at the age of 16 he was swapped as a prisoner with his sister.
  • In 1571 his father as King of Ayutthaya appointed him as Governor of Phitsanulok.
  • In 1584 The Kingdom of Ayutthaya rejected its vassal status to the Burmese and soon was invaded again by the Burmese. Naresuan fought the Burmese and captured Lan Na then another vassel Kingdom of the Burmese.
  • In 1590 Naresuan replaced his father who then died. In 1591 the Burmese invaded yet again only to cancel their invasion upon the dual of their Prince Minchit Sra who was killed by King Naresuan is a personal dual on elephants at the battle of Nong Sarai [ now Suphanburi ].
  • In 1593 King Naresuan invaded the Khmer Kingdom in what is now Cambodia.
  • Naresuan was also significant in assisting the Shan [ Tai  ] gain independence for the Shan State in Burma. He was a friend of the Shan Prince, Prince Hsenwi, when both were prisoners in Pegu. The Shan say his ashes are buried in a stupa at Mongton, Myanmar.