Phra Borommathat Seen Hai Temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Phra Barommathat Saen Hai is situated in Mueang Haeng sub-district, 55 km from Ban Mueang Ngai. It is believed that it was built in the Buddha’s lifetime, in which the Buddha visited Suvarnabhumi and a local Karen villager gave watermelon to him. While he was eating watermelon, a canine tooth was broken off. He then asked Phra Anon to give his teeth to the Karen who offered him watermelon. When Phra Chetabut or the governor was informed of this, he announced the residents to help build Phra Barommathat. Later, it was renovated in 1914 to be on top of the existing small temple. The new one is in an octagon shape and a blend of Burmese and Thai Lanna arts.

In addition it was assumed that this temple is also related to King Naresuan the Great, during the time he moved the troops to Ava, Myanmar in 1604. After assembling at Ngai City, he went to Hang Luang City, which is likely to be the current Haeng because it is surrounded by a moat for more than 2 km and it is only one city located between Ngai and Ava of Myanmar. It is believed that King Naresuan the Great went there to stop at this temple, built his personal pool for his own use and an elephant’s pool in front of the hillside, where it is the location of the temple. Local residents therefore call this area “Elephant’s Pool”. Phra Naresuan remarked that the temple was deteriorated. Then, soldiers and villagers restored it by his order. After that, he continued moving the troop, became sick and died finally. King Ekathotsarot ordered to stop the army and invited his corpse to return to Haeng and gave decorations and assets to be used for renovation of the relics, which were contained in a number of jars to be used for the ceremony to place jars on the base of the relics to contribute to King Naresuan’s charity fund. Later, the residents called this “Phra Barommathat Saen Hai”.

Traditional customs of this temple are the procession with the relics of water for ablutions on the full moon day of the sixth lunar month; Makha Bucha Day on the full moon day of the fifth lunar month; Wisakha Bucha Day on the full moon day of the eighth lunar month; and Songkran Festival on April 13 every year.

Categories: Asia, Travel

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