Phrathat Doi Kham Temple was built in the period of Queen Jamdevi of Lamphum by both of her twins sons in B.E. 1230 ( 687 A.D.). The pagoda contained with the Lord Buddha’s relics. In the old days, the temple was called ” Suwannabanpot Temple however the villagers like to call it ” Doi Kham”. According to the the temple history, it was the deserted temple with its broken treasure house such as Phra Rod Luang, the big ancient sandstone Buddha image covered with gold and Phra Sam Hom which made from clay.
All around the temple, you can see various images and shrines dedicated to Queen Chamadevi and other important figures in her life story, such as her two sons and the Ruesi, or ascetic hermit, who is said to have adopted the queen as a child. According to legend, the hermit found the young princess sitting on a giant lotus flower. He raised her, and she married one of the princes of the Mon capital city Lopburi in Central Thailand. The king then sent her up north on a mission to establish a new city and sister kingdom for the Mon people.
Attractions in Phrathat Doi Kham Temple :
Big sitting Buddha image
When you get up to the temple parking area, the first thing you’ll notice is the gigantic seated Buddha statue. At 17 meters tall, it’s the largest seated Buddha in Chiang Mai. It’s also larger than a number of other famous giant Buddha images, such as those at Kamakura and Nara in Japan. The Buddha has characteristic Lanna features typical of Buddha images from Northern Thailand, such as a round face and lotus bud shaped crown protrusion.
The oldest structure of the Wat Phrathat Doi Kham temple is the pagoda (Chedi), that was constructed in the year 687. It shares many characteristics with the chedi of the better known Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, that is found a little more to the North.
Huge golden colored Naga serpents guard the stairs on both sides of the pagoda that is enclosed by a gate. The chedi enshrines a sacred relic of the Buddha. A local legend tells about two giants who lived in the Doi Kham area thousands of years ago and who were said to be cannibals. When the Buddha visited the area he convinced the giants to give up cannibalism and convert to Buddhism. The Buddha gave them a relic of his hair, that is now enshrined in the temple’s chedi.
When the pagoda collapsed in 1966 after heavy rain, local people discovered a number of Buddha images inside the damaged structure. Funds were then raised and the pagoda restored.