The most famous temple in Chiang Mai

Posted by Northerner on May 10th, 2013 filed in Attractions

Chiang Mai boasts around 300 Buddhist temples which Thais call wats. With so many to choose from it takes a special beauty or landmark attraction to stand out from the crowd. Wat Chedi Luang manages to do this in more ways than one. The focal part of the large temple complex off Phrapokklao Road contains the 60–metre-high Chedi Luang (Great Pagoda).

A chunk of the ancient pagoda was toppled by an earthquake in the mid-1500s yet there is plenty left to remind visitors of the grandeur of this monument. Stone naga and elephant statues guard stairways on the pagoda. A niche high on the east side used to contain the legendary Emerald Buddha Statue. A copy of the statue was enshrined in the niche in 1996 while the original now resides in a temple on the grounds of Bangkok’s Grand Palace.

Lak muang translates into English as city pillar. Chiang Mai residents believe the prosperity of their city hinges on the spiritual happiness of the pillar and it is housed in its own pavilion at the temple. The pavilion has two statues of fierce giants and three gigantic rubber trees standing guard around it. Lak muang even has a festival, Inthakin, dedicated to it.

Wat Chedi Luang’s grounds also feature an abundance of ornate pavilions and Buddha statues. The recently revamped viharn (prayer hall) is easily the most grandiose of these and, as it faces the temple’s main gate, is most visitors’ first impression of this Chiang Mai landmark. Our 1Stop guide to sightseeing in the city details the charms of this temple and the other main draws in the locality.


7 Responses to “The most famous temple in Chiang Mai”

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