Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep: Chiang mai Most Beautiful Temple
Wat phrathat Doi Suthep
Doi suthep temple in Chiang mai known as “wat phrathat doi suthep” one of the most Beautiful Temple in Chiang mai highly revered sacred religious temple in northern Thailand. And Chiang Mai Famous tourist Attractions must visit.
This Theravada Buddhist temple and the iconic mystical naga stairs, sits on top of beautiful highly Elevated Mountain of 1,038 meters above sea level at doi suthep hill at Doi Suthep Pui National park attractions hundreds of thousand visitors annually.
This temple is located at phum sub district in chiang mai and about 40 minutes ride or 20 km distance from city center. This temple should not miss if plan visiting chiang mai, you'll never be complete without visiting this splendid sacred temple in northern Thailand. Doi suthep temple is one of the sacred religious siten houses relics and important religious objects, one of the main tourist attractions in chiang mai.
Wat Phra That known as Doi Suthep Temple founded in 1383 when the first chedi was built on top of doi suthep hill, by the command of sixth king Geu Na of Lanna Kingdom, who are searching for desirable location for religious site.
According to the legend, the monk name sumanathong, found this piece of bone which is believed to be the bone of lord Buddha and believes that the relics has a magical powers when monks took the relics nearby province of payao "lampun" the bone was break itself into 2 pieces, the half cut was placed on wat suan dok, and the other piece was placed on the back of white elephant and release in forested mountainside of doi pui,
This elephant trumpeted 3 times and died. And that was the beginning of doi suthep temple built in 1371 the following day The king ordered to built a golden Chedi where elephant lay on the site to houses Buddha relic and followed to built Theravada style temple was expanded more and added important temple elements, such as viharn " a chapel and terraces we're Hindu elements are also introduced in Thai iconography, such as iconic figures of Garuda, naga serpent, and Gautama Buddha. Emerald Buddha, golden umbrella this temple was renovated several times.
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep
The Emerald Buddha Image at Doi suthep temple Represent Mercy, Calmness and Bounteous Growth.
on top of Doi Suthep Temple the main chapel has spacious compound with the large beautiful sizes of terraces and a chapel houses beautiful northern style golden pagoda, this temple features 2 beautiful lanna style made of wooden teak viharn decorated with rich architectural details and temple elements, emerald Buddha, golden and black Buddha Mucalinda a sheltering Gautama Buddha and other dozens of Buddha statues are surrounded in upper terraces.
Many local are making a merit this sacred temple, they encircle the chedi and all four cardinals with lotus flowers and candles place on palm to seek blessings good luck and good fortune for Buddhism. This could be the best time before dawn. When lay people are giving alms to monk a proper making merit before dawn just before 7 o’clock in the morning, 7:30 monk will ring the bell with stick.
Doi Suthep Temple Upper Terraces
The upper terraces of this temple features large rectangular sizes made of white marble flooring terraces the inner sanctuary containing both Buddhism and Hinduism and houses important religious objects, gleaming Golden Buddha statues, and a Buddhist mythology.
Large sizes of golden plated Chedi was place in the center, And houses holly Buddha relics In 1538-1543 thao sai khom offered gold plated to cover the chedi. by the year 1774-1782 phrachao kawila order to add four gold plated umbrellas was place in four corner of chedi and added fence as well on the base then another two viharas built west and east direction containing important religious object, and mural, depicting the life of Buddha black.
The golden Buddha statues place in two sides of verandas In 1911-1939 the 9th ruler of chiang Mai narawat chao kaew, and khruba sirichai ordered to build a road up to the hill of doi suthep temple in 1934.
This golden chedi at doi suthep temple stands at the center of upper terraces impressive sets, houses the holy relics, the golden spires chedi at a height of around 20 meters with seven tiered representing the seven level of meditation.
sparkling golden umbrella, surrounded in four corners there are many Lord Buddha statues surrounded on the courtyard houses different sizes, pose and posture accompanying gesture of lord Buddha statues, Gautama Buddha, crystal lotus at the center point, and there are two ornate viharn walls are covered with murals, on the opposite side houses the legend of the elephant and the relics. Merit making are busy offering lotus flower, scented sticks and candle place in front of Lord Buddha.
visitors can get this 3 offering flowers and, candles before entering at the entrance at upper terraces, just donate any amount inside the box before place this offering to the altar.
Wat phrathat or doi suthep temple Architectural details
Doi suthep temple elements draw both Buddhism and Hinduism, features different religious objects and large golden pagodas, the Hindu god ganesh, and were the holy relic was place.
This elegant golden Theravada temple retain as the identity of lanna design architectural uniqueness for over hundred of yrs, it has fine craftsmanship richly applied in structural detail of temple elements to convey the sense of lanna Architecture such as kranok motif, the iconic naga fins and feather of garuda, chufas and bells, from fixture, to moldings, roofing, stairs to facade, sparkling glass tiles mosaic on walls that combines the motifs of green, red and golden colors that produce splendid northern style temple that penetrates powerful architecture.
There are several beautiful northern style viharn, houses an image of plated emerald lord Buddha statue, an important religious objects, and wall cloisters painted with murals depicting the jatakas previous lives of Lord Buddha.
Before visiting this temple appropriate dress should wear, avoid sleeveless , sleepers and short, visitors must wear comfortable shoes, if plan to climb 304 steps stairways, or cable car don’t forget bring fully charge camera. On top of the temple there is deck view area, you can enlighten your appetite or you can refresh yourself at small snacks shops with aroma doi tung coffee and sandwich for your breakfast, before heading to the main chapels or upper terraces the other side there is large open deck area sits on a beautiful panoramic view of chiang mai city.
The Best Time to Visit Doi Suthep Temple, from November to early February it’s a cool season month the most desirable time to visit from 8 to 11 o’clock in the morning less crowded and its blissfully empty, and you will enjoy the peaceful and freshness from the mountain Before large crowds visitors are soon to arrive.
if you heading to the main chapel at the center you will see the large golden pagoda each corner has various Buddha statues are place, these Lord Buddha are presenting for the day of the week, the day you were born, you can place small coins on Buddha alms bowl of presenting you will born, and make a merit are hoping to gain happiness and healthy present life, before you enjoy the scenery of the misty hills taking photos at rear side it has a large Deck that leading to a beautiful open space where the aerial view of down town chiang mai can be perfectly seen.
Morning Alms by lay community in chiang mai, if you are interested to see about the local way of life in northern Thailand, and to see religious Buddhism practices among Thai Buddhist is merit making or daily alms early morning.
you can participate by offering morning alms to Buddhist monk, then you must wake up early morning about 6 am visit early morning at doi suthep started 6 o’clock you will see many barefoot monks put on their saffron robes carrying alms bowl are walking across the road side and pathway outside the temple.
monk are lining up to received , morning alms were monks leaving the monastery to collect food in the lay community their alms bowl placing stem rice, medicine, rice noodle, condiments from lay community.
monks don’t accept money in return those lay people giving alms by kneeling received good luck and blessing from the monks, and hoping to gain happiness, healthy present life and barefoot lay people especially women are not allowed touching monk or touching monk belonging, the food they received from local community also be shared among other monks at monastery.
Red Song taew mini-bus are lining up in front of naga stairs at doi suthep temple waiting for passengers. And the yellow board sign are the list of tourist attractions to go, the fare and destination route.these type of transportation in Chiang mai is one of easiest inexpensive mode of transportation among tourist, red bus are easily to spot everywhere in chiang mai town, many of these red bus can rent half day to touring visitors around the city and other famous attractions in Chiang mai.
The picture left is The iconic naga stairs, in 1557 phra maha yanmangkok the monk of Asoka ram of lamphun has established the naga stairs case, rising up to the upper terraces of temple.
The naga carved stairs always hold an important position in the temple, symbolizing the ladder, mythically linking earth to heaven, this mystical naga considered as a guardian in the Theravada Buddhist temple, to scared demons away, and bring good luck.
Picture left is a Naga serpent a seven headed naga; it has long wave body stretching up to the hill that brings good luck. Naga is a rainbow shape lintels, a rainbow symbolizes bridge from earth to heaven and giant water serpent rearing its head to the ocean for drinking water.
This Naga Serpent Stairs Formed into makana regurgitating a seven headed naga stretching from base rising up to the top. Naga is a superstitious though of Thai people.
Once the visitors climb on top and reach the upper terraces with 304 steps, it was magical once you got up there. Visitors were landed A large area of sala" sala kam prian" an open hall, were religious sermon heard.
The altar is the center point of religious and expression in the kingdom of lanna. Splendid architectural details and elements of the design are flourishing retain as rich original traditional lanna identity in northern Thailand.
How to go doi suthep temple by car or Public Bus?
How to get taxi to doi suthep temple from chiang mai town?
Getting to Doi suthep Temple in affordable, cheap transportation by tuk tuk or Red Bus or Song Taew mini-buses these are the popular inexpensive public mode of transportation in chiang mai town Visitors love to ride, tourist can catch a ride in front of chiang mai university at chang phuak gate at maninopharat road next to chiang Mai zoo.
The fare is about 50 baht one way upon returning to chiang Mai center, you can get this song taew bus, right in front of Naga stairs of doi suthep temple many of these red songtaew “a public assembled pickup truck are available Any time,
These red bus are queues in a long lines waiting for passenger, and will bring you anywhere, or back to down town area in chiang mai the fare depends of the locations, and routes. the yellow placard above are list of the popular attractions in chiang mai, and the fare cost for each passenger.
So visiting this temple with songtaew not a big problem with the cool weather during november-january it was lovely
Avoid scam tuk tuk, instead tuk tuk, hired a red bus. But if group it might be the best way to rent song taew the whole day for about 1100 baht, or less or even 600 baht for 4 hrs if you have plan to visit other popular tourist attractions in chiang Mai this red truck will bring you anywhere.
The Temple open start at 8:00 am to 17:00 pm every day , and the entrance fee is 30 baht before pay the entrance you need to climb up stairs for 304 steps before landing to sala kam prian" an open hall, were religious sermon heard. This fee collection is to keep the temple well maintain and clean. Option going to top by ride a cable car the fee is 50 baht return trip.
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