Wat Prasat Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Prasat is located on Intrawarorot road, Phra Singh sub-district, Mueng district, near Wat Phra Singh. It is an ancient historic temple with great architectural value. It is also one of the ancient temples in Chiang Mai constructed by skilled craftsmen. The principle Buddha image in Wat Prasat is a white Buddha image, in the attitude of subduing Mara, with a respectable face glowed with happiness. This holy Buddha image had been at Wat Prasat for many eras. It is housed in the Lanna-styled castle façade at the end of the image hall, which is not very common. It is believed that the principle Buddha image is very antique since it was made at the same time with the image hall. Those who pray for blessing from the principle Buddha image in this castle façade will feel the sense of holiness and calmness as if it can cast a spell.

According to the stone inscription at Wat Tapotaram, Wat Prasat was built since the kingdom of Lanna was prospering in 1492, the time when Phraya Yod Chiang Rai ruled Chiang Mai. Located in the area where the royalty and the noblemen lived, Wat Prasat had been protected generation by generation. Even when Chiang Mai was ruled by Burma, Phraya Luang Saenkum had a Buddha image in the attitude of subduing Mara—Pra chao Muen Thong—casted in bronze and gave it to Wat Prasat in 1590. There is also an inscription at the base of this Buddha image.

In the reign of Chao Luang Thammalangka, in 1813, there was a big restoration of Prasat Temple. The king asked Phraya Luang Samlarn to have the image hall built, which is the one presented these days. Prasat Temple is very unique and has great architectural value. A well-conserved traditional Lanna-style image hall is built in Ma Tang Mhai structure. That is, the roof and the beam are in descending order like the pack-saddle of the horse back for carrying. There is a Naga staircase leading to the place at the front of the image hall, elaborately decorated with stucco and stained glass. Inside the monastery are the Lanna Lai Kum mural painting of the Buddha’s life on red lacquer and the castle facade housing the principle Buddha images that are left in only a few places these days. Wat Prasat, therefore, is an important Buddhist temple which is worth conserving as a heritage for the next generation.

Categories: Asia, Travel

Tagged as: , ,