MUEANG WESALI (เมืองอู่ตะเภา)
(Ruins of Mueang Wesali)
Photographs, text & maps by Tricky Vandenberg
March 2016
Mueang Kao Wesali was named after Wesali or Vaishali, the old capital in Bihar (1),
which was founded by the Hindu Chandra Dynasty. Mueang Wesali is located in Samrong
Chai in Phaisali District of Nakhon Sawan.

The ancient city of Wesali was surveyed by the Fine Arts Department in 1968.
Archaeological study revealed that a community had existed before the city of Wesali was
established. The community was here since the Late Pre-historical period and developed
into a moat and mound settlement during the Dvaravati period (6-11th century AD). The
plan of the settlement was rectangular with rounded corners. There were double earthen
walls with a moat within of approximately 700 m long and 500 m wide. The moat was
watered by the Huei Tian Wang.  

The city of Wesali was likely a small outpost of the Kingdom of Lavo, which in the 7th
century came under Khmer influence during the reign of Isanavarman I (616-637 AD) of
the Kingdom of Chenla (Pre-Angkor). The city must have been of the same age as
Sukhothai, Nakhon Yonok, Okha Buri (Phitsanulok) and Si Thep. Later, Wesali was ruled
by the Kingdom of Sukhothai and somewhere in time left deserted for unknown reason.

The city of Wesali was restored in the reign of King Narai (1656-1688 AD) as a strategic
outpost to protect the Kingdom of Ayutthaya from enemies marching in from the North.
The excavation performed in 1996 discovered ancient brickwork to the east of the city.
The remaining brickwork was in the Late Ayutthaya style of art, consisting of an ordination
hall, a mandapa, an image hall, and a chedi.  

The center of Mueang Wesali was located in geographical coordinates: 15° 31' 18.68" N,
100° 38' 51.62" E.

Footnotes:

(1) The ancient city of Vaishali was a city in Bihar in India and today an archeological site.
Vaishali is generally accepted as the capital of the Chandras, but there is still uncertainty
over the date for the founding of Vaishali. It was here that Buddha Gautama delivered his
last sermon and announced his Parinirvana. Vaishali was also the location of the second
Buddhist Council in 383 BC, resulting in the first schism in the Buddhist Sangha.
Ruins of Mueang Wesali
Ruins of Mueang Wesali
(Ruins of Mueang Wesali)
Ruins of Mueang Wesali
(Ruins of Mueang Wesali)