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The Mon Kingdom of Lamphun (Hariphunchai)

The Mon 12th C Building At Lamphun, Wat Ku Kut

  • When visiting Lamphun you should realise that people have inhabited the area continuously since 300 B.C.E. Iron implements and unglazed pottery have been dated from ancient burial sites. The first known inhabitants were the Lawa .In 750 at the request of a local hermit, a daughter of the Mon King of Lop Buri  (in Central Thailand) was invited to come to Lamphun to rule. This she did and in doing so brought with her monks representing the Theravada Buddhist sect. Subsequently her two chidren became rulers of Lumphun and Khelang (now Lampang). Lamphun has many Mon relics but there are few in Lampang. There is virtually no recorded history until 1218.

The Next 400 Years of Haripunchai History

  • Lop Buri was at times under attack by the Khmer and at times became a vassal of the Khmer Empire. The Khmers also sought to expand North and conquer Haripunchai. These stories are documented in the ancient Chronicles.
  • A major war campaign took place between the Mon Kings 1010-1020. It started with the Lamphun Kings invasion of Lop Buri, only to be thwarted by the Khmer Kings occupation and conquest of Lop Buri on arrival from Nakhon Si Thammarat in South Thailand (then also part of the Khmer Empire).
  • In 1050 a cholera epidemic caused the Mon in Lamphun to live with other Mon in South Central Burma. Ever since relations between the Mon of both Nations have been good.
  • Relations between the Mon Rulers of Haripunchai (Lumphun) and Lop Buri were at all times subjugated by Khmer influence over the Lop Buri Mon.
  • Around the Town of Lamphun we can today see the moat fortifications of the then satellite Wiangs  (fortified outposts). These are at Wiang Mano, Wiang Tho, Wiang Tha Kan and Wiang Kum Kan. 

Mon Heritage in Lamphun Today

  • The Mon in the North, used an alphabet script as used in South India. The Mon at Lop Buri were over time influenced to adopt Khmer script forms. The Mon ruins are moats, walls and ancient Temple sights, the better examples of which are around Lamphun. Mon art is best seen at National Museums and decorating Mon Wats.