Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Wat Phra Singh

Built in 1345, the temple is located on Sam Lan Road. It houses the North's most revered Buddha statue, Phra Phuttha Sihing which is enshrined in Vihan Lai Kham, a chapel that features exquisite woodcarvings and northern style murals. Every year on April 13, Songkran Day, the image is paraded through the streets of Chiang Mai for local people to sprinkle scented water on. This area was formerly Wat Li Chiang Market until 1345, when King Pa Yu, the fifth king of the Meng Rai Dynasty commanded the construction of this temple and a 24-feet chedi to contain his father's ashes.

This temple, situated in the heart of the city, is famous for its fine examples of Lanna art. It was founded in the fourteenth century, but all the buildings today date from the nineteenth century and much of the restoration work is of a very recent date. The rear viharn has some beautiful murals depicting scenes from every-day life in Lanna a hundred years ago. Here is housed a copy of the Phra Sihing Buddha Image. There is some exquisite wood carving on other buildings and the scripture repository, where holy texts written into folding books made of bai lan or sa paper, were carefully preserved, is a gem of Lanna art. The senior abbot in Chiang Mai resides at Wat Phra Singh and many important Buddhist ceremonies take place here.

Mueang Chiang Mai, Chiang Mai

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