Wat Chet Yot

in Chiang Mai

This wát was established by King Tilokarat in 1455 as part of an effort to prevent a predicted decline in Buddhism. It still has much of its original stucco intact and is topped by jèt yôrt (seven spires) representing the seven weeks Buddha spent in Bodhgaya in India after his enlightenment. Though the sanctuary is thought to be a replica of Bodhgaya's Mahabodhi Temple, scholars believe that the plans were copied from a clay votive tablet showing the temple in distorted perspective.

The main structure was completed in 1476, a year before the eighth World Buddhist Council, and its historic wí·hăhn (sanctuary) is decorated with time-worn stucco bas-reliefs of deva (angelic Buddhist spirits). Dotted around the compound are more chapels and chedi, as well as lots of mature ficus trees propped up with wooden stakes by devotees seeking merit.