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 Home > About Thailand > The Modern Monarchy > King Rama I


[ Rama I ] 1782 - 1809

He born in Ayutthaya on March 20, 1737, the son of Phra Aksorn Sundara Smiantra, he was formerly known as Thong Duang. Following the fall of Ayutthaya in 1767 he entered the service of Phraya Taksin and fought by his side in almost every campaign until the latter became King Taksin, establishing the capital at Thonburi. He was created Luang Yorkrabat, then Phra Rajvarin, Chao Phraya Chakri and eventually Somdetch Chao Phraya Maha Kashatriya Suk by King Taksin, and following the deposition of King Taksin in 1782 [ at the age of 45 ] was chosen King, becoming the founder and first ruler of the House of Chakri two hundred years ago. On the year of his accession he moved the capital from Thonburi to the opposite bank of the Chao Phraya River, thus founding the city of Bangkok. It was during his reign that the Grand Palace was constructed and he installed the Emerald Buddha in the Chapel Royal following its completion. He died in Bangkok on September 7, 1809 and, as many historians have stated, the modern Siam dates from his reign.

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