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Temples in Chiang Mai

To date, there have been some 300 temples constructed in Chiangmai an its outskirts. Visitors should take the time to visit the most revered temples in the city, built during the noble Lanna Thai dynasty.

The Thai patrons of our temples are pleased to see that visitors take an interest in the images and traditions of Lord Buddha's teachings. All that they ask is that temple visitors show respect by wearing appropriate clothes so that monks and worshippers will not be offended within the sacred temple grounds. By "appropriate clothes", we mean to say long pants for men, modest tops and skirts for women and no bare shoulders.

 

sister pagodas of Chiang Mai

Both of stupas are ancient and important in Chiang Mai. Even though they were founded in different periods.  It's nearly 700 years, the Phrathat Doi Kham was established before Pharathat Doi Suthep, they have a close relationship with each other since ancient time. Due to Lua people (Lau ethnics) living around the two mountains, they were strongly attracted to two pagodas, Lua people tried to follow in the ancestor's footsteps by promoting Buddhist values on the mountain.  It's right to say that they are sister pagodas. 


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Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

A relic is generally a small shiny round object which may weigh only a gram, but is as glistening as lapidarian jade. An authentic relic of the Buddha can perform marvelous feats. It sometimes illuminates with radiant light. Its power can make miraculous phenomena occur. It also can replicate, vanish, and merge by itself. The relic of Doi Suthep is the Buddha's shoulder bone which has crystalised to become as hard as mineral

Every King of Chiang Mai has shown great devotion in nurturing and maintaining the essence of Buddhism. Strong belief and respect this temple has remained in the heart of Lanna people. Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is of great importance to Chiang Mai and Lanna Thailand.


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Wat Phrathat Doi Kham

A historic Chronicle of Wat Phrathat Doi Kham

There are many mountain-tops and surrounded by jungle and high rugged mountains on the mountainous range of Tanontongchai which extending southwards to Intanon mountain in Chomtong district. through the western city of Chiang Mai. The 2 ancient and important pagodas were founded on such mountain-tops as a symbol of the city.  Each pagoda was erected by the ruler in different reigns : Haripunchai and Lanna periods.

The first pagoda was founded on a small mountain-top about 200 metres high above sea level. On the southwestern side of Chiang Mai city, called Phrathat Doi Kham.  In the former time, this place was used to be the residential area of a giant Lua-couple,named Jikham and Takheo, Latterly they were called as Pu Sae and Ya Sae, They were Lua-ethnics whose son was a strict hermit named Sudeva, living behind the Doi Suthep mountain.  It's believed that there was gold in the brook behind the Doi Kham mountain.  When Pu Sae and Ya Sae had go hair relic from the Buddha. Many recorded books told that the Godin dra too the  hair relic from Ya Sae and dug a crypt on the mountain for burying and then built a small stupa over the site. Not so long, afterwards a marvellous  occurrence happened,  it started rain heavily. The heavy rain lasted for many days. It caused flooding the brook behind the mountain.  The gold in the brook flowed down into the cave so that the people called this mountain as DoiKham which means golden mountain.  There after during the year 1230 B/E Prince Mahantayose and Prince Anatayose, sons of Haripunchai ruler; Princess Jammadevi's twin sons,they climbed up and built a bigger stupa covering the original stupa.

The second pagoda was founded on the 1,053 metres high mountain, north of Doi Kham, by King Kue-Na of Mengraidynasty and Ven. Suman Thera. They brought the holy relic from Pangja in Sukhothai, they buried the relic on the mountain and built a stupa over the site in the year 1914 B/E and then called Pharathat Doi Suthep in accordance with the name of a hermit who lived behind the mountain.

Phrathat Doi Kham is situated on a small mountain-top, southwestern city of Chiang Mai. about 10 kilometres far from the city.  It's surrounded by green jungle with picturesque scenery.  The famous Royal Flora Ratchaphruex 2006 is located on the whole area below.  And Chiang Mai Night Safari is not so far from here. Phrathat Doi Kham is an ancient and important place or worship which was founded more than 1,300 years ago.


Liangdong Festival in Wat Phrathat Doi Kham

   

Liangdong festival means giving offerings to ancestor's soul (Pu Sae, Ya Sae )Generally, the festival falls on the 14 day in the half of the 9 lunar month, it takes place at middle of jungle or the foot of Doi Kham.  Villagers join donating for the fund of festival.  In the early morning, they lead a black buffalo that its horn is as long as ear to the ceremony area where the people called Dong Hohfor killing it to offer the ancestor's soul of Lua people (Pu Sae, Ya Sae)

After the ancestor's soul resides in processor's body.  Suddenly the processor's character becomes as a ghost, he will ask to eat raw meat and raw blood from the people without aversion.  It's traditional culture of Lua people, they always pay respect to their ancestor's soul every year. *(once a year) During the festival, there are many interested people and news-men coming to see this interesting cultural tradition.  Lua-people believed that the maintenance of paying respects to their ancestor's soul will bring good luck and happiness to them.

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Wat Chiangman

Wat Chiang Man is situated in town. It was the first temple built in Chiang Mai around 1300 A.D. Formerly it was the residence of King Mengrai, the founder of Chiang Mai. There are two famous Buddha images in this temple.Wat Chiang Man is located in the northeastern section of the old cityon Rachaphakinai Road.. This is the oldest temple in Chiangmai, built by King Mengrai in 1296 as Chiangmai's first royal wat. It has been restored several times and has a distinct Burmese influence. The Wiharn has a verandah across the front that is richly decorated with carvings of angles and flowers and with the three-headed elephant. The doorways are decorated with coloured mirror pieces and inside, the walls are covered with murals. Printed red and gold pillars and ceiling beams and a stately Buddha in front of a canopy are spoiled by the inappropriate fluorescent strip lighting.

This wat is famous for several unusual images of Buddha. The most extraordinary is the Phra Kaew Kao or Crystal Buddha made in Lavo (Lop Buri) in the 2nd century and Phra Nang Jamthevi brought to rest in Chiang Mai after journeys to Lamphun and Vientiane. It is believed to have the power to bring rain and therefore it is taken around the city in procession every year, if there is a drought, on the first of April. This image is kept in the abbot's residence and only a replica is displayed. Another interesting statue is the Phra Sethang Manee, an image made from white stone on a solid gold base. Brought here by King Mengrai from Hiripoonchai (Lamphun) in 1281, it is believed to have originated in Ceylon.
Behind the Wiharn is a large, gold-spired square chedi supported by sixteen life-sized elephants. Do not miss an inspection of the whitewashed earthen wall that surrounds the wat. It sags precariously but somehow blends well with the glittering, colourful buildings and luxuriant foliage.

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Wat Phra Sing

Wat Phra Sing is on the corner of Singharat Road and Rachadamnern Road, in Chiangmai. King Phayoo, the 6th king of Mengrai dynasty, around B.E. 1885 (AD 1345), founded it. It was originally called Wat Lee Chiang Phra due to the fact that there was a ground in front of the temple where people came to exchange commodities and that it became a market called Lee Chiang Phra, from which the temple got its name - Wat Lee Chiang Phra Around B.E. 1943, (AD 1400)

King Maha Phrom had Phra Buddha Image taken from the city of Kam Phaeng Petch and presented it to King Saen Muang Ma, who had it installed in vihara of Lee Chiang Phra Temple.That is why Lee Chiang Phra Temple came to be known as Wat Phra Sing.  When His Majesty King Bhumiphol Adulayadej was graciously pleased to upgrade the temple to the first class royal temple from there on Wat Phra Sing was officially called Wat Phra Singh Vara Maha Vihara


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Wat Chedi luang

The construction of the temple started in the 14th century, when King Saen Muang Ma planned to bury the ashes of his father there. After 10 years of building time it was left unfinished, later to be continued after the death of the king by his widow. Probably due to stability problems it took until mid-15th century to be finished during the reign of king Tilokaraj. It was then 82 m high and had a base diameter of 54 m, at that time the largest building of all Lanna. In 1468 Emerald Buddha was installed in the eastern niche. In 1545, the upper 30 m of the structure collapsed after an earthquake, and shortly thereafter, in 1551, the Emerald Buddha was moved to Luang Prabang.

In the early 1990s the chedi was reconstructed, financed by and the Japanese government. However the result is somewhat controversial, as some claim the new elements are in Central Thai style, not Lanna style. For the 600th anniversary of the chedi in 1995, a copy of the Emerald Buddha made from black jade was placed in the reconstructed eastern niche. The icon is named official Phra Phut Chaloem Sirirat, but is commonly known as Phra Yok.

Buildings ; Also on the temple grounds is the city pillar (Lak Mueang) of Chiang Mai, named Sao Inthakin. It was moved to this location in 1800 by King Chao Kawila; it was originally located in Wat Sadeu Muang. He also planted three dipterocarp tree there, which are supposed to assist the city pillar to protect the town.


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Wat Suandok

Wat Suan Dok (Ref. Wikipedia) (Thai: วัดสวนดอก, pronounced [wát sǔan dɔ̀ːk], roughly "flower garden temple"), also known as Wat Buppharam (วัดบุปผาราม, [wát bùp.pʰǎː.rāːm]) is a Buddhist temple (Wat) in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand. It is a Royal Temple of the Third Class. The temple is on Suthep Road, approximately one kilometre west of Suan Dok gate at the west side of the moat. The Chiang Mai campus of the Buddhist Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University is housed within the temple compoun Wat Suan Dok was founded by King Kue Na of Lanna for the monk Sumana Thera in the year 1370 CE. The temple was built in the centre of Wiang Suan Dok (Thai: เวียงสวนดอก), a walled settlement (Wiang, Thai: เวียง) of the Lawa people older than Chiang Mai itself. The outlines of the fortifications can clearly be traced on satellite images, and remains of some of the earthen walls can still be seen north of Suthep road. King Kue Na's flower garden (Thai: สวนดอกไม้, suan dok mai), which was located here, lent the temple its original name: Wat Buppharam (Thai: วัดบุปผาราม), or Wat Suan Dok Mai (Thai: วัดสวนดอกไม้) for short.

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Wat Chedi jed yod

Wat Photharam Maha Vihan Chiang Mai Province Northern Thailand

Wat photharam maha vihan is one of the most important santuaries in THAILAND.  It is popularly known as wat chedi ched yod (the monastery with seven pagodas)  

 In 1455 a temple was built on the present site of this monastery by the royal command of king Tilokaraj the 11 Monarch of lanna.  King Tilokaraj also had a seedling of the sacred maha bodhi tree (a pipal tree) planted in the compound of the temple.  Hence  this century was named Wat photharam maha vihan (the monastery of the bodhi tree) its first abbot was phra bodhirangsi maha thera the learned author of the chamdevi wongsa.

The main building with seven pagodas was built in the 14th or 15th centurie A.D.   It is a replica of the mahabodhi temple at gaya in bihar India.  In 1477 a council of senior monks well versed in triptaka was.  Convened at this monastery by king Tilokaraj.  Here the Buddhist scripture.  Pharadhammadina was elected chairman of the Buddhist triptaka.   Kind Tilokaraj died in 1487.  Phra Yod chiang rai, his grandson consequently succeeded him.  In the compound of this sanctuary.  King Yod chiang rai constructed a crematorium for the cremation of his grandfather and a big stupa to hold the ashes.