About Lop Buri

Lopburi is the capital city of Lopburi Province in Thailand. It is located about 150 km north-east of Bangkok. As of 2006 it has a population of 26,500. The town (thesaban mueang) covers the whole tambon Tha Hin and parts of Thale Chup Son of Mueang Lopburi district, a total area of 6.85 km².

The city has a long history, dating back to the Dvaravati period more than 1000 years ago. According to the Northern Chronicles, it was founded by King Kalavarnadish, who came from Taxila (Takkasila) in Northwest India (now Pakistan) in 648 AD. It was originally known as Lavo or Lavapura, meaning "city of Lava" in reference to the ancient South Asian city of Lavapuri (present-day Lahore). Lopburi was under the rising Angkor regime and became one of the most important centers in the Chao Phraya Basin from then on.

The earliest confirmed occurrence of the name Lavapura is on silver coins inscribed Lava on the obverse and Pura on the reverse in a Pallava-derived script of the seventh or eighth century; several such coins were reccovered in 1966 from a hoard found in an ancient jar in U Thong.

Lop Buri (Lavo) is described in Book III of Marco Polo’s Travels, where it is called Locach. This came from the Chinese (Cantonese) pronunciation of Lavo, “Lo-huk”. The city is referred to as “Lo-ho” in chapter 20 of the History of Yuan, the official history of the Mongol, or Yuan Dynasty of China. Due to a scribal error in Book III of Marco Polo’s travels treating of the route southward from Champa, where the name Java was substituted for Champa as the point of departure, Java Minor was located 1,300 miles to the south of Java Major, instead of from Champa, on or near an extension of the Terra Australis. As explained by Sir Henry Yule, the editor of an English edition of Marco Polo’s Travels: “Some geographers of the 16th century, following the old editions which carried the travellers south-east of Java to the land of Boeach (or Locac), introduced in