Chiang Mai Pillar City Shrine in Thailand

Chiang Mai Pillar City Shrine or Sao Inthakin or Sao Lak Mueang is the city pillar first laid by King Mengrai at the founding of Chiang Mai since in 1296. Initially, it was enshrined inside the vihara (assembly hall) of Wat Inthakin Sadue Mueang, also known as Wat Sadue Mueang, on Inthawarorot Road, Sri Phum subdistrict, Mueang district, Chiang Mai province. Later in 1800 Prince Kawila, the ruler of Chiang Mai then, joined hands with King Taksin the Great and his military troops to defeat Myanmar. The city of Chiang Mai was renovated and thus Sao Inthakin or Sao Lak Mueang was dislodged again from Wat Inthakin Sadue Mueang or Wat Sadue Mueang to its current location. At present it has been situated within the complex of Wat Chedi Luang, 103, Phra Pok Klao Road, Phra Singh subdistrict, Mueang district, Chiang Mai.

Based on the belief that a city pillar is essential when establishing a city, Sao Inthakin the city pillar of Chiang Mai has been erected to be the center of hope and spiritual support for Chiang Mai locals. Geographically, it also stands right at Sadue Mueang [the navel of a city] or the city center as a sacred site of worship. The existence of Sao Inthakin symbolizes the future of the city, and subsequently intends to ensure prosperities or calamities of the city.

Currently, Sao Inthakin is enshrined inside the traditional Thai style tetrahedron vihara of Wat Chedi Luang. This wooden city pillar was buried deep in the ground. There is a ceremony called Khao Inthakin which is held annually in May in order to venerate and propitiate the city pillar of Chiang Mai. It can be said that Sao Inthakin or Sao Lak Mueang marks one of Chiang Mai’s most sacred places and is associated very tightly with the early establishment of the city. The residents of Chiang Mai believe that the city pillar indicates peace, happiness and prosperity. Therefore, a considerable number of local people, Thai and foreign tourists flock to the temple and pay homage to invoke blessings to themselves and their families.

Categories: Asia, Travel

Tagged as: ,