Monday, 7 June 2010

Chiangmai Visiting of the Holy 9 Temple~ Wat Doi Suthep

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, the city's most famous temple, stands on Doi Suthep, a hill to the north-west of the city.

This temple dates from 1383. By tradition, its site was chosen by placing a relic of the Lord Buddha on an elephant's back and letting it roam until it trumpeted, then circled and died. The temple's location provides superb views on a clear day.

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is an impressive embodiment of the Lanna (northern Thai) culture and is a symbol deeply cherished by the people of Chiang Mai. The temple's origins date back almost seven hundred years, to 1382 and the legend surrounding the founding of the temple is one of those mysteries of Asia that draw so many visitors to this enchanted land.

Over three hundred steps lead from the parking area to the temple grounds, a staircase bordered by the longest naga (water serpent) balustrade in Thailand. Nagas are sacred water serpents which bring good luck as well as bridging the earth and sky.If the climb sounds like no fun, then simply ride to the top in one of the newly rebuilt cable cars (admission: 50 baht).
Once you've reached the top there's plenty to see at the temple. Of course, the golden Chedi dominates the area with its gilded, 24 meter (79 foot) tall bulk. Ceremonial parasols were added at the four corners of the Chedi in the 16th century and pilgrims make merit by sticking gold leaf to the parasol shafts. At the rear of the temple a long promenade provides a spectacular view; the city spreads out below, bisected by the ribbon of the Ping River.

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