Wat Chedi Luang ‘Travel back to the past with this historic temple’

wat chedi luang, chedi luang temple, attrractions in chiang mai, temple in chiang mai

Chiang Mai is one of the most historic towns in Thailand. Historic townmeans  a town full with stories for a very long time or there were some important events happened in the past. And the best thing to tell stories in the past, is probably architecture. Why? Because every architectures are built with different art styles. Each style indicates speciality of each people group. When you look at a house, a building, a palace, or whatever, you should imagine the lifestyles of the people who built it. Their ideas and behaviour usually reflect through their art.

Therefore, if you wish to learn about the history of Chiang Mai, you should start from taking yourself around and tour all valuable architects, for an instance, a temple.

Now, here is a temple that you should first travel to, Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang, or another name Wat Chotikaram, is an historic temple located in Chiang Mai downtown. The area is really wide. Chiang Mai people respect this temple so much. Moreover, this is where the Town Shrine and the biggest Chedi in Chiangmai established. For the Town Shrine, or Inthakhin Tower, it is also an important place for Chiang Mai people.

You will never believe what people in the past have left for us, including how they built such beautiful thing. You’re right. This temple was built in refined ways, making it look stunning from every viewpoints.

wat chedi luang, chedi luang temple, attrractions in chiang mai, temple in chiang mai
wat chedi luang, chedi luang temple, attrractions in chiang mai, temple in chiang mai

First of all, when you are about to enter Wat Chedi Luang, you will see the red lable written the temple name in 3 languages. Then when you keep walking until you reach the vihara, you will see the stairway that was decorated with two sculptures of Naga. Naga, or in Thai language ‘Phaya Nak’, is actually a legendary and holy creature, which have been being respect with Thai people all along. The Naga sculptures on the stairway of Wat Chedi Luang are actually known for the most beautiful Naga sculptures in northern Thailand.

Tourists usually come to Wat Chedi Luang to respect the Town Shrine. If you wish to do the same, you have to reach the front arch. This arch was renovated recently and now it look fabulous. Walk through it until you stand within the temple area. Then notice your left side, you should be able to see the Town Shrine. Inside the Town Shrine, ‘Inthakhine Pole’ is located. Beside, there are gorgeous murals all over the walls. Don’t be surprise to see these murals in brand-new state, because they all were just done not long time ago.

Speaking of Inthakhine Pole, or the Town Pole, it was built with a huge log and partly burried underground. If you’re lucky, you may travel to Chiang Mai right on time, just to catch up with ‘Khao Inthakhin’ ritual. This ritual is all about celebrating the Town Shrine.

wat chedi luang, chedi luang temple, attrractions in chiang mai, temple in chiang mai
wat chedi luang, chedi luang temple, attrractions in chiang mai, temple in chiang mai

Anyway, the most important thing to do when you think of visiting any temple, is to dress politely. No shorts. No sleeveless shirt. No hats. No slippers. You must acknowledge that temples are religious places, all which people pay respect to. Therefore you need to be careful and behave yourself harmoniously, no matter who you are or where you’re from.

And for those who want to pay respect to ‘Phra Buddha Attharod’, the Lord Buddha statue inside the vihara, feel free to do. There are candles and joss sticks for you at the front. After that, you may continue sitting in the vihara to admire the interior murals and Lanna-style art. You will feel like traveling back to the past.

Then don’t forget to reach the back of the vihara, the zone that got 2 Naga statues. There you will find the highlight of the whole place. It is ‘Chedi Luang’, the very old and huge chedi. This is where the name of the temple came from. Chedi Luang consists of 4 sides, which are all decorated with Lord Buddha statues. Also, there are the statues of white elephant. Even all of these may get eroded, due to the passing time, they still reflect the value of ancient time anyway.

The chedi was ordered by King Saen Muang Ma to enshrine the ashes of his father. Construction began in 1391 and lasted almost a century. When the chedi was finally finished in 1475 during the reign of King Tilokarat it had reached a height of about 85 meters and a width of 44 meters, which made it by far the largest structure of Chiang Mai. In the year 1545 disaster struck when a massive earthquake destroyed much of the chedi. The quake took off some 60 meters from the top of the chedi after which about 60 meters remained. In the 1990’s the chedi was partially restored.

wat chedi luang, chedi luang temple, attrractions in chiang mai, temple in chiang mai
wat chedi luang, chedi luang temple, attrractions in chiang mai, temple in chiang mai

Moreover, you can walk to the back of Chedi Luang, in order to pay respect to the Buddha’s relics of your birth year, just for your own luck.

Then you may move to ‘Phra Jao Tanjai’, a kind of Lord Buddha statue, that is also located within the temple. Phra Jao Tanjai is believed to complete every wishes you make. Most temples in Chiangmai have got Phra Jao Tanjai So, if you have any wish, don’t forget to make some before you leave.

Remember, you are able to visit Chedi Luang Temple everyday and anytime, even at night.

How to get there

Wat Chedi Luang is located on 103 King Prajadhipok Road, Phra Singh District, Muang County. The most convenient way to travel there is to grab a red two-line truck. Tell the driver that you want to go to Wat Chedi Luang. Then the driver will charge you the price by calculating how long the route is. For more comfortable way, we recommend you to travel by private tour.