Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

sights / Religious

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep information

Chiang Mai , Thailand
Th Huay Kaew, Doi Suthep
admission 30B
Opening hours
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Overlooking the city from its mountain throne, Wat Suthep is one of the north's most sacred temples.

The temple was established in 1383 under King Keu Naone and enjoys a mystical birth story. A visiting Sukhothai monk instructed the Lanna king to establish a temple with the twin of a miraculous Buddha relic (enshrined at Wat Suan Dok). The relic was mounted on a white elephant, which wandered the mountain until it died at this spot, interpreted as the 'chosen' location.

The temple is reached by a strenuous, 306-step staircase, intended as an act of meditation. (For the less fit, there's a tram for 20B.)

The 1st-floor terrace documents this history of the temple with a shrine to Sudeva, the hermit who lived on the mountain, and a statue of the white elephant who carried the Buddha relic up the mountain. On the 2nd-floor terrace is the picturesque golden chedi that enshrines the relic; it is topped by a five-tiered umbrella in honour of the city's independence from Burma and its union with Thailand

Within the monastery compound, the International Buddhism Center conducts a variety of religious outreach programs for visitors.