Wat Phra That Hariphunchai

Northern Thailand

This temple, Lamphun’s most famous, spans back to the Mon period, having originally been built on the site of Queen Chama Thewi’s palace in 1044 (or 1108 or 1157 according to some datings). The temple boasts some interesting architecture, a couple of fine Buddha images and two old chedi (stupas) in the original Hariphunchai style. The compound lay derelict until Khru Ba Sriwichai, a famous Northern Thai monk, ordered renovations in the 1930s.

The tallest of the ancient chedi, Chedi Suwan, is a narrow brick spire dating from 1418 that sits 21m high. The newer chedi, 46m-high Phra Maha That Chedi, is regarded as a textbook example of 15th-century Lanna architecture, with its square pedestal rising to a rounded bell shape.

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