The History of the Elephant Battle That Changed Thailand’s Fate – An elephant is a symbol of Thailand that most people love. But in the past, elephants were used as weapons. One story of an elephant battle more than 400 years ago remains a source of pride for Thai people, even today.

At the end of the 16th century, Thailand was not Thailand as we know it. Consisted of a number of different kingdoms, which almost always fought with Burma. The Kingdom of Lan Na, now Chiang Mai, was under Burmese control. They attempted to take over land further south several times.

Not satisfied with just Lan Na, and in the face of previous defeats, Burma sought to push further south and seek to take the Ayutthaya Kingdom.

King Naresuan, the ruler of Ayutthaya, planned to go to war in Cambodia because of their attack on his kingdom. He had many of his troops stationed nearby. With little in the way of opposition, Burma made significant early progress to Thailand. Finally, with his army behind, Naresuan confronted the Burmese in Nong Sarai.

Burma gathered a large army to take Ayutthaya. Naresuan’s army was greatly outnumbered. A skilled military tactician knows that direct combat will not produce victory, so he devised a plan.

The Naresuan forces falsified the retreat, luring the Burmese to attack them when the main Ayutthaya army would attack. Even though this is an effective tactic, it is not enough. While the war elephant Naresuan, who was aggressive because he was in musth, was charged to the Burmese army, he saw the Burmese Crown Prince, Mingyi Swa, resting on an elephant in the shade of a tree. 

The Elephant Battle

The story of this battle has two versions, namely Thailand and Burma. But Thailand’s narration of the story is a story that has been imprinted in the story of the people.

In January 1953, the two leaders, perched on their elephants, engaged in a fierce and very romantic duel. The Burmese prince was younger, fitter and had a better-trained elephant, and Naresuan almost suffered a fatal blow, escaping with a wound on his face, but eventually, he struck back.

He caught Mingya Swa off guard and hit him with a heavy blow that could even cut half of his right shoulder to his left hip. The Burmese people surrendered after the defeat of their prince, and the battle ended.

The king built the pagoda at the place where he won, and his guardian – the type of knife used to kill the prince – and the helmet placed in it. Some versions claim it was not a duel, but both fought on the battlefield, while the Burmese denied that their prince was killed by the king.

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