Wat Chedi Luang
Wat Chedi Luang is a Buddhist temple located in the heart of the old city of Chiang Mai, Thailand. It is known for its beautiful architecture, intricate carvings, and rich history. The temple was originally built in the 14th century during the reign of King Saen Muang Ma, who ruled the Lanna Kingdom (an independent kingdom in what is now northern Thailand) from 1385-1401. The temple's main feature is the Chedi Luang (large stupa), which was originally built to house the ashes of the King. The chedi is 82 feet high, and it was once the tallest building in Chiang Mai.
Over the centuries, the temple fell into disrepair, and in the early 20th century, the Chedi Luang collapsed. The temple was later restored and is now a popular tourist destination, known for its beautiful architecture, intricate carvings, and rich history.
The temple complex is made up of several buildings, including the main chedi, a viharn (assembly hall), and several smaller chedis and viharns. The main chedi is the most impressive feature, with intricate carvings and gold leaf adorning its exterior. The viharn houses a large bronze statue of the Buddha and several smaller statues of other important Buddhist figures.
An interesting fact about Wat Chedi Luang is that it used to house the Emerald Buddha. The Emerald Buddha, also known as Phra Kaew Morakot, is a highly revered statue of the Buddha made of jade. It is considered one of the most important religious artifacts in Thailand. The statue was originally housed at Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai for several decades before being moved to its current location in Bangkok's Wat Phra Kaew in the 18th century.
Another interesting story about Wat Chedi Luang is that it was the center of political power during the Lanna Kingdom. The temple was built by King Saen Muang Ma who made it his palace and the center of his kingdom's administration. It was also home to the Lanna royal family and the site of important ceremonies and rituals. This gives Wat Chedi Luang a special significance in the history of Chiang Mai and the Lanna Kingdom.
Additionally, the temple served as a center for Buddhism and education in the region, with many important Buddhist scholars and monks residing at the temple and teaching at the temple's associated monastic university. It was also the site of the Royal Chronicles of Chiang Mai, which were written in the 19th century and are now considered one of the most important historical records of the Lanna Kingdom.
Wat Chedi Luang is not only a religious site, but also a popular tourist destination, where visitors can experience the unique blend of Buddhism, Lanna culture, and the rich history of Chiang Mai. The temple serves as a reminder of the city's past and the importance of Buddhism in the region.