Archive for November, 2017

Wat Chiang Yuen

Wat Chiang Yuen

Just outside the old walked center of Chiang Mai is the small temple Chiang Yuen consisting of a viharn, chedi and several small structures.  Its founding date is unknown but it is generally believed to be one of Chiang Mai’s oldest temples.

Wat Chiang Yuen translates to temple of long life and was important in the Lanna Kingdom.  All of the new Kings of the Lanna Kingdom would come here to pray to the Buddha image asking for good luck and a successful reign before being crowned.

The Wat was abandoned in the late 18th century when the Burmese conquered Chiang Mai and after they were driven out in 1794 the Wat was reconstructed.

As you first enter the Wat, the first thing that can be seen is the very large Buddha image sheltered by a 9 tiered ceremonial umbrella.

The Wats viharn porch is adorned with colorful murals with Buddhist scenes.  Large Naga serpents guard the stairway to the entrance.  The interior has 2 rows of red lacquered columns and the walls are adorned with murals showing events fro the life of Buddha.  At the back is a large golden Buddha image seated in the subduing Mara posture.

Next is the most noticeable structure, its chedi – a massive white structure adorned with golden decorations.  White and gold Chinthe are at each corner guarding the chedi.  According to ancient chronicles, sacred Buddha relics are enshrined in the chedi.

Between the viharn and chedi stands a small Lanna style sala with beautiful gables and bargeboards.  The Sala enshrines a Buddha image.  Next to it are 2 decorated poles with Hamsabirds on top.

The Wat is located on Manee Nopparat Road just outside the old walked center of Chiang Mai.

Wat Duang Di

Wat Duang Di

Wat Duang Di translates to “good luck temple”.  Dating back to the early 16th century and located in the center of the old walled city, it consists of a viharn, ubosot, Burmese style chedi and a Ho Trai.  The date comes from an inscription on one of the Buddha images.  There was a renovation completed in 1819.

The viharn is a large building with a multi-tiered roof.  It was constructed in Thai and Lanna style during the 19th century.

The ends of the golden bargeboards have Naga serpents and the rooftop is adorned with a golden Chofah or Garuda.  Guarding the viharn are a pair of Chinthe (mythical lions).  Inside the viharn is the principle Buddha image, seated on a large pedestal and surrounded by several smaller Buddha statues.

next to the viharn is the ubosot.  It is a small Lanna style wooden building standing on a store base.  The panels on the elaborate front gable are inlayed with colored glass.

The chedi, enclosed by its own low wall, enshrines relics.  On each of the 4 corners of the square base stands a statue of an elephant.

The point of interest of the Ho Trai are its gilded wood carvings and stucco decoration.  Recently restored, it was originally built in 1829.  The building is usually locked but you can still see the fine stucco work of Lanna flower motifs around the entrance and windows.

To visit this Wat, it is located across the road from Wat Inthakin and the Three Kings Monument, close to the center of the old walled city.