Home Visit Chiang Mai Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep in Chiang Mai

by Pierre To
6 minutes to read
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is a beautiful Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai province, Thailand.

See also ;
Visiting Chiang Mai: the guide

History of Wat Doi Suthep

The original foundation of the temple remains a legend, of which there are various versions.

The temple is said to have been founded in 1383 when the first chedi was built.

Over the centuries, the temple has expanded and several shrines have been added. A road leading to it was built in 1935.

The Legend of the White Elephant

The white elephant of Wat Doi Suthep

The white elephant of Wat Doi Suthep

According to legend, a monk from Sukhothai by the name of Sumanathera saw in a dream a god telling him to go and look for a relic in Pang Cha.

Sumanathera went to the site and found a bone, which many believe to be the shoulder bone of Buddha.

The relic showed magical powers, it glowed, it could disappear, move and duplicate itself. Sumanathera brought it to the king of Sukhothai, the Dharmmaraja.

The Dharmmaraja made offerings and a ceremony for the arrival of Sumanathera.

However, the relic did not show any abnormal characteristics and the king, doubting its authenticity, told Sumanathera that he could keep it.

However, King Nu Naone of the kingdom of Lanna heard about the relic and offered to take it.

In 1368, with Dharmmaraja's permission, Sumanathera brought the relic to present-day Lamphun in northern Thailand.

The relic has apparently split, one piece being the same size, the other smaller than the original.

The smaller piece was enshrined in the temple at Suandok and the other was placed by the king on the back of a white elephant that was set free in the jungle.

The elephant climbed Doi SuthepIt was called Doi Aoy Chang (Sugar Elephant Mountain) at the time, and moaned three times before it died.

This was interpreted as a sign and King Nu Naone ordered the construction of a temple at the site of his death.

Description of Wat Doi Suthep

It is a sacred Buddhist temple for the Thai people.

It is located 13 kilometres north of Chiang Mai city.

The temple is very popular, with many souvenir shops for Thai and foreign tourists.

From the parking lot at the base of the temple, visitors can climb the 306 steps to the pagoda, or take a funicular to reach it.

Stairs of Wat Phra That, Doi Suthep

Stairs of Wat Phra That, Doi Suthep

The original copper-plated chedi is the most sacred element of the temple.

On the site there are also pagodas, statues and bells.

The temple has both Buddhist and Hindu characters.

There is a model of the Emerald BuddhaA statue of the Hindu god Ganesh and a breathtaking view of the city of Chiang Mai.

Practical information

The wat can be reached from Chiang Mai by road.

Entrance fee: 30 baht.
Funicular ride up: 20 baht.
Opening hours: 8am to 4.30pm.

Practising Vipassana meditation at Wat Doi Suthep

Vipassanā meditation allows the development of wisdom, it is also a meditation that allows one to cleanse one's bad karma, to make peace with one's past.

See also :
Learn to meditate: complete meditation course
Learn to meditate at a meditation centre in Thailand

Video of Wat Doi Suthep

Photos of Wat Doi Suthep

Buddha at Wat Doi Suthep
Buddha at Wat Doi-Suthep
Bell of Wat Doi Suthep
Bell of Wat Doi-Suthep
Bells at Wat Doi Suthep
Bells at Wat Doi-Suthep
Entrance to Wat Doi Suthep
Entrance to Wat Doi-Suthep
Gong at Wat Doi Suthep
Gong of Wat-Doi Suthep
Statue at Wat Doi Suthep
Statue at Wat Doi-Suthep
Buddha statue at Wat Doi Suthep
Buddha statue at Wat Doi-Suthep
Ganesh statue at Wat Doi Suthep
Ganesh statue at Wat Doi-Suthep
Wat Doi Suthep
Wat Doi Suthep
Doi Suthep Chedi
Doi Suthep Chedi

Locate the temple on a Google map

See also :

What to do in Chiang Mai: 8 activities not to be missed!

Theravada Buddhism in Thailand, the country's main religion

Photos: Phra That DoiSuthep: Tevaprapas Makklay; White Elephant DoiSuthep: Kyle sb ; Wat Phra That Doi-Suthep: Millevache; Source: Wikipedia

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