Sunday, July 12, 2020

Dato Mogul and the City of Singora

The city was founded more than a thousand years ago during the Sri Vijaya Kingdom and developed as Indians, Persians, and Arabs came to trade in this region.

The origin of the Songkhla name would come from topography as “Sting”. The Indian traders had called Songkhla as “Sing Krol Lar” and the Western traders as “Singora”, which was a well-known port in the Malay Peninsula. Finally, the location was called as “Songkhla” as in the present name.

The Sultanate of Singora was a heavily fortified port city in southern Thailand. It was founded in the early 17th-century by a Persian trader who had arrived in Singora form central Jawa, Dato Mogul. Dato Mogul, his family and followers had escaped an invasion by Westerners of the Javanese ancient town as it is currently known as Jokjakarta. They immigrated to Singora in 1602. Songkhla's political status was rather ambiguous. Dato Mogul offered himself to the Ayuthaya court as a dependent of the kingdom.

Dato Mogul became the first king of Singora. Trade activities in Singora increased due to the security system, trading facilities, and more importantly the tax-free benefit.

In Singora Dato Mogul was at liberty to deal independently with foreigners. In 1613 he invited the Dutch to trade in Singora. King Songtham of Ayuthaya (1611-1628) made no objection.

Economically, the Dato Mogul’s liberal policy encouraged the growth of Singora as a major free port city in parallel to Nakhon Si Thammarat and Pattani. Evidence of Singora's prosperity in trade (which brought about wealth and security) was its proclamation of political independence from Ayutthaya, which lasted for 38 years (1642-1680).

Sultanate of Singora flourished during the reign of his son, Sultan Sulaiman Shah. In 1680, after decades of conflict, the city was destroyed and abandoned; remains include forts, city walls, a Dutch cemetery and the tomb of Sultan Sulaiman Shah.
Dato Mogul and the City of Singora
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