Wat Phra That Doi Kham Temple, Chiang Mai, Thailand

Wat Phra That Doi Kham Temple is an important temple in Chiang Mai, older than 1300 years. It is situated in Doi Kham area behind the Royal Park Rajapruek, 10 kilometers from the city center. Phra That Doi Kham was built in the reign of Phra Nang Chamathewi (Queen Camadevi), the ruler of the kingdom of Hariphunchai. Both of her sons had it built in 687 A.D. There are the Chedi, housing the Buddha’s relics, the teaching hall, the monk’s cell, and the stucco Buddha image. Previously, the temple was named Suwan Banphot Temple but people called it “Wat Doi Kham.”

In 1966, Wat Doi Kham was deserted. Later, its underground hiding place was destroyed and people found many pieces of antiques; for example, Phra Rod Luang, large gilded Buddha image, and Phra Sam Mor (soil-made). They were house in Wat Phra That Doi Kham. Phra That Doi Kham is not only a place for local people to worship, but also a mark for Thai Airways to judge the area before the landing of the plane at Chiang Mai airport.

Legend has it that the west part of Thanon Thongchai Range was a place of the two important and ancient chedi, which are very respectable in Chiang Mai. Each of them was established by the rulers in Hariphunchai and Lanna era, respectively. One of them was Phra That Doi Kham. It is placed at the top of a small mountain on a height of 200 meters above mean sea level, south-westward to Mueang Chiang Mai. It was the dwelling of a giant couple, Jidum and Takiaw, which later was called “Pu Sae- Ya Sae.” They also had a child—“Hermit Sutheva.” The name “Doi Kham” was from the good omen that the giants received the Buddha’s hair. There had been heavy rain for many days until the rain scoured and blew a lot of gold ore from the mountain slope and brook to the cave mouth. This resulted in the mountain’s name “Doi Kham.

Besides, legend has it that the angel brought the Buddha’s hair, given to Pu Sae and Ya Sae, buried it and built a stupa on “Doi Suthep.” Later, in 687 A.D., Chao Mahantayos and Chao Anantayos, the twin son of Queen Camadevi of Hariphunchai, had the chedi built over the stupa. The second chedi is placed on a high mountain, northward to Doi Kham, which is Phra That Doi Suthep.

Categories: Asia, Travel

Tagged as: , ,