King Rama II (1809-1824)


King Phra Buddha Lertla Napalai, the 2nd King of the Chakri Dynasty, ascended the throne in 1809, had an extremely gentle temperament and never resorted to violence if it were not for the good of the people as a whole.. Throughout his reign, he did only meritorious deeds, thus peace and harmony were the order of the day during that era. King Rama II died on July 21, 1824 at the age of 58.

During his rule, the country was relative at peace with neighboring countries. It was, therefore, an ideal time to build up the country. King Phra Buddha Lertla Napalai improved the administrative system, promoted religious, culture and introduced land reforms which stipulated that it was compulsory for anyone owning land, regardless of social status, to cultivate it otherwise it would be expropriated.

The populace rightly called him "White Elephant King" which came from his possession of three white elephant. This is why all Siamese seagoing middle. Later on, this flag became the national flag. King Rama II was a devout Buddhist and, consequently, ordered his subjects including members of the royal family and officials to shun all vices. King Rama II also revived the celebrations of Visakha Bucha - the day that Lord Buddha was born, enlightened and died. He revised the Buddhist Tripitaka by translating the chanting of prayers in Pali into Thai so that people would understand what they were reciting.

During his 16 years of rule, the kingdom enjoyed harmony, peace and prosperity. The populace led lives in conformity with Buddhism and the wishes of their beloved monarch, which centered around kindness and peace.

His many contributions to the country still remain as a living remainder of his kindness. It is the duty of all Thais to preserve such heritage and to vow that they will be loyal to the Chakri Dynasty with their hearts and souls.



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