Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Princess Suphankalayar

According to Thai history, at the fall of Ayutthaya in 1569, Thai Princess Suphankalaya together with her younger brothers (among them Prince Naresuan) was taken to Hansawaddy ( Bago ) as hostages  by Myanmar King Bayinnaung. There, she became King Bayinnaung's royal consort.

Suphankalaya is the granddaughter of the famous Thai Queen Suriyothai of Ayutthaya who died in 1548, defending Ayutthaya against the invading Myanmar forces of King Tapin-Shweti.  Suphankalaya is also revered as the elder sister of Prince Naresuan, a 16th-century Thai prince who killed an invading Myanmar prince in the battle. When the dead prince's father, King Bayinnaung, heard the news, he demanded revenge. He ordered that Suphankalaya, his hostage and consort, be tortured to death.

The princess appears in no school history books of Thailand. Up to very recently, she has been forgotten by the public and historians for over 400 years. Not until a few years ago, a monk in Phichit province claimed he met the spirit of the princess in his meditation.

The monk's unofficial biography also claimed the princess' spirit was trapped by black magic and although she wanted to return to her motherland and help her people, she couldn't. Fortunately, the monk apparently broke the spell and at last the princess could return to Thailand.

One of the spots where worshippers pay tribute to Princess Suphankalaya is at the monument of the princess and her two brothers at Wat Ladsing in Suphanburi.

When I was at Suphanburi, a shoe shop’s boss told me his own experience with Princess Suphankalaya. He was having financial problems and as he found no way out, he decided to hang himself in his shop. So he bought himself a piece of rope to hang himself with. As he was preparing to put his head into the loop, he heard some music seemingly from royal orchestra. He was stunt. At this moment, a ray of bright light and very pretty princess enters from his main door and pointed to him a series of numbers before she vanished into thin air.

The shop owner remembered the numbers and went to try his luck. True enough, he got first prize! He was frantic but at the same time wondered on how to thank the princess for her help. It really amazed him when he went to claim his fortune and found a picture of Princess Suphankalaya displayed in a bookstall.

I found the story interesting so I share it with you. Incidentally, I am use to see a princess in my Wai Kru ritual always and I think she is Princess Suphankalaya. I think the princess wanted me to share her story in my blog J!


  1. Thais have donated a stupa and have created a shrine to her at the ancient pagoda near Yangon named Kyaikkalo.