Wat Phra That Doi Khan
Built at the end of the 7th century, and sitting at the top of a forested hill outside of Chiang Mai, the Wat gets few visitors. The Wats name means “golden mountain temple”.
Built in 687, the chedi is the oldest structure and resembles the chedi at the well known Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Large golden colored Naga serpents guard the stairs on both sides. There is a sacred relic of The Buddha enshrined in the chedi. Local legend tells of 2 giants who lived in the area thousands of years ago who were cannibals. When the Buddha visited the area he convinced the giants to give up cannibalism and convert to Buddhism. The Buddha gave them a piece of his hair which is the relic now enshrined in the chedi. In 1966 the chedi collapsed from heavy rain, but money was quickly raised and the chedi was restored.
The courtyard which contains the chedi and viharn is partly enclosed by a gallery lined with green square pillars decorated with golden flower motifs. The gallery contains several seated Buddha images on white pedestals and in various seated positions. Visitors can strike any of the many bells and gongs in the courtyard. The grounds are guarded by large warriors and white lions or Singha. The viharn roof is decorated with Naga bargeboards and has beautifully carved window panels.
A short distance from the chedi and viharn you will find the most noticeable feature of the Wat, that is the 17 meter Buddha image sitting on a white pedestal. There is a Lanna style ubosot which is a very ornate structure with a multi-tiered roof and Naga bargeboard. On both sides of the stares are large golden colored Naga’s that come out of the mouth of Makaras (a mythical water creature). The ubosots facade is particularly beautiful with a golden peacock motif over the entrance with a lively green background.
The Wat is located about 10km southwest of Chiang Mai.