The Viharn Nam Tam, Viharn Phra Sao Sila and Viharn Ton Kaeo66
On the other side of the chedi and the main wiharn are three other small open chapels. Although very weathered, both have some rather interesting details and murals.
The Viharn Nam Tam was built at the start of the 16th century. It is believed to be the oldest wooden temple building in Thailand that is still in its original state.
The open wooden structure has a three tiered roof supported by a large number of pillars. The pillars in the viharn’s interior are stencilled with elaborate lai kham decorations. The principal Buddha image is in the Bhumisparsha mudra, and is surrounded by a few standing Buddha images.
The Viharn Ton Kaeo in front of the Viharn Nam Tam is of unknown age. This early Lanna style structure was rebuilt in 1967. It is an open structure with a three tiered roof supported by concrete pillars.
The Viharn Phra Sao Sila is another very old viharn in the early Lanna style. It was probably built in the 14th or 15th century. The open viharn has a three tiered roof, the ends of which are decorated with chofahs in the form of stylized Naga serpents. The front façade that contains a Thewada figure (a kind of celestial being) is intricately decorated in blue and gold colors.
A doorway on the south side of the gallery leads you to several other buildings, as well as the temple’s museum. On the way, you’ll pass an ancient bodhi tree whose branches are supported by a forest of crutches.
The two museums are not very interesting, even though one houses the Phra Kaeo Don Tao, a supposed ‘copy’ of the Emerald Buddha and made at the same time. But it lack most of the subtlety of the Emerald Budda, and the setting doesn’t do it justice. For a close-up look at the Emerald Buddha, you’re better advised to visit Wat Phra Kaeo in Chiang Rai, where they have a recently made copy in a beautiful setting. However, there is a beautiful 400 year old scripture library in amongst the museums that is worth a look
A Must-Go for Whoever Was Born in the Year of Ox
Similar to the Chinese Zodiac conception, Thais also have 12 different animals assigned for each year. Across the Southeast Asian (mostly within Thai Kingdom) continent, 12 sacred temples housing Buddha relics were chosen to represent these zodiac signs. This temple represents the ox and a relic of Buddha’s hair is now being enshrined in the temple’s chedi. If you happen to be born in the year of Ox, come visit Wat Phra Tat Lampang Luang Temple and try to find the enlightenment within.
How to get to the Wat Phra That Lampang Luang
Not too far from Chiang Mai (70km), the elephant conservation camp (15km). The temple is located in Ko Kah district, about 15 kilometers South West of Lampang town, a few kilometers West of Highway 1 (Phahon Yothin road). There is no local public transportation stopping near the temple! So the quickest and most comfortable way to get there is by private car (Private tour to Wat Phrathat Lampang Luang Click). Most hotels or Travel Agency in Chiang Mai and Lampang will be able to book one for you.
Alternatively you can charter a songthaew, a converted pick up truck with benches in the back. A slower, but fun way to get there is by horse drawn carriage, which should cost around 300 – 400 THB. from Lampang town.
To go around the temple and see the local area, charter one of the horse drawn carriages waiting outside of the complex, which should cost around 150 – 200 Thai Baht.
Entrance fee & opening hours
The Phra That Lampang Luang grounds are open from 7.30 am until 5 pm. Admission is free, a donation will be highly appreciated.
Note : Not accessible for wheelchair user
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