Asia

Wat Suan Dok Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Suan Dok (วัดสวนดอก เชียงใหม่) is the ancient monument under Fine Art Department. This place also is the common Royal Temple of Third Class under Maha Nikaya subschool. Situated on Suthep Road, Tambon Suthep, Amphoe Mueang, Chiang Mai, just a kilometre to the west of Pratu Suan Dok, covers an area of approximately 5.7 hectares. The area is 183, 193, 176, and 176 metres long at the north, south, east, and west consecutively. Wat Suan Dok was earlier a flower garden of Mangrai royal family before an order to establish the royal temple on the land by King Kue Na, the sixth king of Mangrai Dynasty in 1371 (1914 B.E.). The building was determined to be the monastery for Sumana Thera who introduced Lanka doctrinal school in Lanna Kingdom. A forty-eight-metre-high bell-shape Lanka pagoda, now a national ancient monument, was also included in the construction, to retain Buddha’s relics from Sukhothai. The temple continued to flourish under the care of the dynasty until 1886 (2429 B.E.) when it was abandoned by the ruling of Burma. The revival began by an order of King Borommarachathipbodi Kawila of Thipchakkrathiwong Dynasty and the temple has been cared of by both the royal family and local people since then. Inside the temple area stand many other sacred buildings and amazingly beautiful antiques. The list includes:-

  • Phrachao Kao Tue – the Chiang Saen Buddha statue of 10.8 tons with the dimensions of three-metre width and four-point-seven-metre height cast by Lanna and Sukhothai craftsmen in King Phraya Mueang Kaeo’s period, the thirteenth king of Mangrai Dynasty in 1504 (2047 B.E.). The intention of the casting was to be the main image of Wat Phra Sing nearby, but the after-casting weight made the king decide to establish a part of his own palace as an assembly hall of the temple which he later named Wat Kao Tue instead. The hall was renovated once by Khruba Chao Si Wichai, the Lanna monk, and then declared as a national ancient monument in 1932 (2475 B.E.). Three temple arcs and a pulpit in Lanna pattern were also built together with the reconstruction.
  • Phra Phutthapatima Khakhing – the main Buddha statue in the royal assembly hall of the temple. This bronze cast dated back since 1373 (1916 B.E.) is said to be as of the same body size of King Kue Na with the width of two metres and the height of two-and-a-half metres.
  • Many of important traditions here are Tam Bun Salakphat, the annual tradition which is held on the eighth night of the first lunar month; Tang Tham Luang, the annual preaching of the eleventh lunar month after Ok Phansa festival; and Song Nam Phra Borommathat, the water offering to the relics tradition which takes place in every fifteenth night of the third lunar month.

Categories: Asia, Travel

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