Chulalongkorn Day Bangkok
King Rama V (1868–1910), also widely known as King Chulalongkorn, can be considered chiefly responsible for Thailand’s continued independence throughout the colonial period. To this day, Thais reserve a special place in their hearts for him. Chulalongkorn ascended the throne in 1868 when he was only 15 years old. By the time of his death, 42 years later, he had become the “Beloved Great King”. father-figure for his people and perhaps the most popular Thai monarch ever.
A man of remarkable foresight, Chulalongkorn instituted a veritable revolution from above, abolishing serfdom and ending the ancient custom of ritual prostration in the presence of the ruler. He brought in foreign advisers from abroad, and sent his sons to study at universities across Europe.
Chulalongkorn’s contributions to the cultural heritage of Bangkok included the construction of Dusit Palace, Rajadamnoen Avenue and the palace and pleasure-gardens of Bang Pa-In. When he died in 1910, a grieving nation posthumously awarded him the title Phya Maharaj, or “Beloved Great King”.
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