Wat Chiang Man

sights / Religious

Wat Chiang Man information

Location
Chiang Mai , Thailand
Address
Th Ratchaphakhinai
Prices
donations appreciated
Opening hours
6am-6pm
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Chiang Mai's oldest temple was established by the city's founder, Phaya Mengrai, sometime around 1296. In front of the ubosot (ordination hall), a stone slab, engraved in 1581, bears the earliest known reference to the city's founding. The main wí·hăhn also contains the oldest known Buddha image created by the Lanna kingdom, cast in 1465.

A smaller second wí·hăhn enshrines the city's guardian images, the bas-relief marble Phra Sila Buddha, believed to have been carved in Sri Lanka more than 1000 years ago, and the tiny crystal Phra Sae Tang Khamani Buddha, reportedly crafted for the king of Lopburi in around 200 AD.

The sacred images are housed inside a handsome, mon·dòp -like altar known as a khong phra chao , a distinctive feature of ancient Lanna temples. The monastery has a glorious chedi , with an elephant-flanked stucco base and a gilded upper level.