Everything you need to know about Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, a beautiful Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai province, Thailand.
Visit 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 sanctuaries have been added. A road leading to it was built in 1935.
The legend of the White Elephant
According to legend, a monk from Sukhothai named Sumanathera saw in his dream a god telling him to go and get a relic in Pang Cha.
Sumanathera went there and found a bone, which many believe is a bone from Buddha’s shoulder.
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 then showed no abnormal characteristics and the king, doubting its authenticity, told Sumanathera that he could keep it.
However, King Nu Naone of Lanna’s kingdom 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 split, one piece being the same size, the other smaller than the original.
The smallest piece was set in the temple in Suandok and the other was placed by the king on the back of a white elephant that was released into the jungle.
The elephant climbed Doi Suthep, then called Doi Aoy Chang (sugar elephant mountain), and moaned three times before dying.
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 Thais.
It is located 13 kilometers north of Chiang Mai city.
The temple is very popular, many souvenir shops are present for Thai and foreign tourists.
From the parking lot at the base of the temple, visitors can climb the 306 steps of the stairs to reach the pagoda, or take a funicular to get there.
The original copper-plated chedi is the most sacred element of the temple.
On the site are also pagodas, statues, and bells.
The temple has Buddhist and Hindu characters.
There is a model of the Emerald Buddha, a statue of the Hindu god Ganesh and a breathtaking view of the city of Chiang Mai.
The wat can be reached from Chiang Mai by road.
Climbed by the funicular: 20 bahts.
Opening: from 8 am to 4.30 pm.
Practice Vipassana meditation at Wat Doi Suthep
Meditation vipassanā allows the development of wisdom, it is also a meditation that allows you to cleanse your bad karma, to make peace with your past.
For more information you can visit the Doi-Suthep Vipassana Meditation Center:
Video of Wat Doi Suthep
Photos of Wat Doi Suthep
Locate the temple on a Google map
Photos: Phra That DoiSuthep: Tevaprapas Makklay; White Elephant DoiSuthep: Kyle sb: Wat Phra That Doi-Suthep: Millevache; Source: Wikipedia
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