Wat Chedi Luang Worawihan (Chedi Luang Temple)

Chedi Luang Temple one of the regions most important temples in Chiang Mai Thailand

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All those who are interest in sightseeing in Chiang Mai must visit Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai which is the most impressive temple in the region. The temple is around six centuries old. The Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai gets its name from the huge chedi in the temple.

Attraction in Wat Chedi Luang

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Chedi or the Great Stupa

The ruined brick chedi of Wat Chedi Luang now rises to about 60m in height. Its base is 44m (144 ft.) wide. It has four sides, each with a niche approached by a monumental stairway guarded by stone nagas (mythical snakes). Elephants stand guard midway up the platform.

The was chedi of Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai mostly destroyed after few years because of an massive earthquake in the 17th century. Many people have a different story to tell about the destruction of the chedi they think King Taksin’s cannons firing on the city to chase out the Burmese in the 18th century did the damage.

The chedi at Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai has been partially reconstructed, but the spire has still not been renovated because nobody is sure what the spire used to look like. Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai is most famous tourist attractions in Chiang Mai.

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The temple grounds contain two viharns. The first one is a large, impressive building with a three tiered roof and a front facade in golden colors. This viharn was built in 1928. The high red ceiling is supported by two rows of tall, round columns. This viharn contains a large standing Buddha image opposite the entrance, named Phra Chao Attarot. This image dates back to the time when the Wat Chedi Luang was founded; it was cast towards the end of the 14th century.

The other much smaller viharn has a very elegantly decorated front facade with intricate wood carvings. The stairs leading to the entrance are guarded by large Nagas, mythical snake like creatures. Next to it is a small pavilion in Burmese style.

The Sao Inthakin or city pillar

A small building houses the city pillar or Sao Inthakin of Chiang Mai. The Sao Inthakin is believed by local people to protect the city. Nearby is a small shrine built to house the guardian spirits who brought the Sao Inthakin over from Heaven.
Next to the Sao Inthakin hall there are three massive Dipterocarp trees, that are also believed to be protectors of the city. If the tree closest to the Sao Inthakin should ever fall, a great catastrophe will occur according to legend.

Other structures on the temple grounds include a small building containing a Reclining Buddha image and a bell tower. Another temple, the Wat Phan Tao, is located on the same grounds.

Dipterocarp trees in chedi luang temple, Dipterocarp trees in wat chedi luang

Dipterocarp trees

Next to the Sao Inthakin hall there are three massive Dipterocarp trees (Yang trees), that are also believed to be protectors of the city. If the tree closest to the Sao Inthakin should ever fall, a great catastrophe will occur according to legend.

Monk Chat

Wat Chedi Luang has a popular monk chat as well as a few token touts so, without being too cynical, beware of over-helpful locals.

A monk chat club is open every day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on the northern side of the grounds. Drop in to chat with them about Buddhism, a monk’s life, Thai culture or other relevant topics. They get to practice English, and you get face time with a Buddhist monk. (Ladies, be sure not to touch them as it is taboo.) As their sign says, “Don’t just stand looking from afar and walk away.”

Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai was also important because for a short time it housed the holy Emerald Buddha which is considered the most important ans scared object in Thailand. The Emerald Buddha is now in Bangkok, but a few years ago the king donated a replica of the Emerald Buddha to Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai.

The base of Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai has splendid elephant statues. The temple also features a small open shed that houses a reclining Buddha image. You must not miss a chance to visit Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai if you are on Chiang Mai tour.

Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai attracts numerous tourists which helps tourism in Chiang Mai to flourish.

Wat Pra That Chedi Luang Worawihan Story

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Wat Pra That Chedi Luang Worawihan located in Chiang Saen old town. King Saen Muang Ma began building the Phra Chedi Luang to enshrine the relics of his father at the end of the 14th century, but King Tilokarat completed it

Wat Chedi Luang, maybe the most impressive temple of Chiang Mai, is known for its huge chedi Ancient sites include the bell-shaped. Lanna-style principal chedi which used to be 90 metres high before it was partly destroyed in an earthquake in 1545: it was to remain the tallest structure in Chiangmai for over 500 years The present restored chedi is about 60 metres high Another feature of the site is the tall gum tree that lies just inside its entrance According to legend, the fate of the tree is linked to that of the city : when the tree falls, so will Chiangmai- Also of interest are a Naga (serpent) staircaise adorning the main chapel’s front porch and the framed pictures along the walls with English captions explaining the story of the Buddha’s life The large wihan was built in 1928- It’s to the west of the chedi and there is a reclining Buddha Round columns with bell shaped bases and lotus finials support the high red ceiling inside The standing Buddha image inside is known as the Phra Chao

Attarut Made of a combination of brass alloy and mortar, the image dates back to King Saen Muang Ma Other buildings in the compound include the Lanna campus of the Mahamakut Buddist University (This is the northern campus for monks of the Thammayut sect, a reformist sect founded by Kin Mongkut (Rama IV r. 1851 – 1868. who was dissatisfied with the established Mahanikai sect in the late 1830’s). From this area an exit leads out onto Chaban Road One of the best times to see this chedi is during the wian tian ceremony in the evening on one of the main Buddhist festival days The festival begins with a procession of the Phra Fan Saen Ha Buddha image around the streets Lanna people believe that a guardian spirit resides in the image, and that bathing the image with lustral water encourages rain

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How to get to the Wat Chedi Luang

The Wat Chedi Luang is located close to the centre of the old walled part of Chiang Mai. You will find it about half way Ratchadamnoen road that crosses the old city from East to West. The main entrance is opposite Phra Pok Klao road, just South of Ratchadamnoen road. A must see!! Very beautiful architecture and hopefully you can find a tour guide that is knowledgeable about its history. If you interest to visit the most important temple in the city for half day tour, we can provide a budget tour or a private tour for your group.

Entrance fee & opening hours

The temple grounds are open daily from 6 am. until 6 pm. Admission is free for Thai people and 40 THB per person for foreigner.

Wat Jedi Luang is one of the must see temple in the chiangmai old city. You will see the architecture of the ancient thai style, which is different to what you see in Bangkok and southern part of Thailand.

Note : Wheelchair user is accessible

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