Wat Ku Tao Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Ku Tao Temple was previously named Wat Wayruwanaram. It is located in the tranquil area of Chiang Mai, Sri Phoom District. There is no evidence show the exact date or year which the temple was built. But, there is a mythology said that the chedi of Wat Ku Tao was built when Myanmar reigned over Chiang Mai and the whole Lanna kingdom. The circle shaped chedi is the object that contains ash of Myanmar Royal Family named ‘Meng Cha Norn Tha Mang Dui’. He is the person who dispatched troops to attack Ayudhaya under the command of his brother from another mother, Nanda Bayin. Unfortunately, the troops was put down by Somdet Phra Naresuan Maharat and later on needed to give up.

Therefore, Meng Cha Norn Tha Mang Dui was broken off with his brother, Nanda Bayin and could not go back to his hometown again since then. He died in Chiang Mai in 1613 and Maha Mang Chuay Tao, his younger brother, is the one who arranged the funeral for him and willed to build a Ku Tao chedi in order to keep his brother ash. Also, Maha Mang Chuay Tao willed to build this temple around the area of Dong Korphai. Thus, it was named Wat Wayruwan Ku Tao but locals mostly called it Wat Ku Tao and called a chedi by the name of Ku Tao chedi.

Ku Tao chedi is unique and much difference from other chedi in Lanna. This is because in every level of Ku Tao chedi, there are different Buddha postures on each sides of the Chedi together with the colorful mirror made in a flower shape which is as fabulous as the one in Wat Arun, Bangkok. Some people assumed that the chedi was originally just a plain cement chedi but later renovated and decorated with colorful mirror and tiles in the reign of King Rama V. Using colorful tiles to decorate temples and its pediment is so popular and widespread in Rattanakosin period. The age Rattanakosin is the time when Thai were continually doing business with Chinese and Chinaware is the good that Chinese trader brought into Thailand abundantly by junk. So, it can be said that Rattanakosin age is the golden age of tiles and chinaware. There is a little golden chedi decorated with tiered umbrella on the top of Ku Tao chedi which represents Myanmar fine arts.

Besides, if you come over Wat Ku Tao, you will get to see the lifestyle and way of life of the locals such as tricycle ride. Way of life of people here is difference yet charming and it will definitely impress you.

Categories: Asia, Travel

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