Wat Saen Fang Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Saen Fang (วัดแสนฝาง) is located on Tapae Road, Changmoi Sub-District, Muang District, Chiang Mai. This elaborate temple is waiting for the visitors. The temple was built in Phaya Saenphu (the third king of Mangrai Dynasty) in 1656. The word “Saen” came from the name of the builder and the word “Fang” means “deposit”, implying that depositing money with Buddhism is equal to making merit. This temple is closed to Mengrai Dynasty as many royal family members always practice the Dhamma here.

Passing the Nakwilai Sawangfa Arch, there is an elaborate monastery named “Lai Kham Monastery” in Lanna art style. It was gilded and decorated with carved wood and gilded statues. Its pediments were decorated with carved wood in Kankhod and Himmapan Forest animal decoration pattern.

Near the monastery is “Mongkol Saen Mahachai Stupa” which was influenced by Burmese art style. It is similar to Shwedagon Pagoda in Burma. It is located on the base with indented corners and singha statues. The stupa was decorated with glass in forest decoration pattern. The top of the stupa was decorated with golden tiered umbrella according to Tai Yai-Burmese art style. The stupa was surrounded with gates. The chapel was built by the faith of Princess Dara Rasmi. It is the modern two-story building. The lower floor was built by bricklaying and the roof was built by earthenware. The eaves were decorated by carved line in gingerbread decoration pattern. The upper floor is the elaborated wooden structure and its side was decorated with star pattern. The roof ridge was decorated in Kinnara shape.

Apart from the elaborated monastery, the stupa, and the chapel, there are various beautiful architecture such as 100-year-old monk’s house, Yonaka Pichitra with western-style arch and statues, Ancient Tripitaka Hall, and the ancient guardhouse. This temple is a great mix of various art style including Burmese, Lanna and Western art. It is worthwhile to visit since you are not only able to make merit but also appreciate the architecture of the temple.

Categories: Asia, Travel

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