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Doug J | profile | all galleries >> Northern Thailand Galleries >> Wat Phra That Doi Suthep tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep | Chiang Mai | Doi Angkhang, Thailand | Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle

Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

The temple of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is one of the most important temples in Chiang Mai, as well as one of the most revered among all Thais. The temple is a major pilgrimage destinations during the important Buddhist holidays of Makha Buja and Visak. Its importance, as well as its location, owes much to the legend of its founding.

According to this legend, a Buddha relic, which some say glowed, magically replicated just before it was about to be enshrined in the big chedi at Wat Suan Dok. The "cloned" relic was placed on the back of a sacred white elephant, which was allowed to roam wherever it wanted.

The elephant eventually climbed to the top of Suthep Mountain, trumpeted three times, turned around three times, knelt down and died. This was taken as a sign that this was the spot where the relic wanted to be, so King Ku Na built the original of the chedi on Doi Suthep at the end of 14th century.

The temple's golden chedi, or pagoda, contains holy Buddha relics, and attracts Buddhist pilgrims from all over the world throughout the year.

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Tree of Enlightenment
Tree of Enlightenment
Tree of Enlightenment
Tree of Enlightenment
Buddha idols facing the golden chedi
Buddha idols facing the golden chedi
Temple courtyard
Temple courtyard
Green Buddha idol
Green Buddha idol
Green Buddha idol
Green Buddha idol
Chedi and ceremonial filigree parasol
Chedi and ceremonial filigree parasol
Small Buddha idol in front of the Chedi
Small Buddha idol in front of the Chedi
Temple hall
Temple hall
Unwilling tourists
Unwilling tourists
Burning oil as an act of worship to Buddha
Burning oil as an act of worship to Buddha
Temple bells
Temple bells
Ceremonial lions on guard
Ceremonial lions on guard
Large temple bell
Large temple bell
Monk in courtyard
Monk in courtyard
Worshiping at one of the temples
Worshiping at one of the temples
Decorative doors
Decorative doors
Idol and temple bell
Idol and temple bell
Ceremonial elephant
Ceremonial elephant
Temple exit
Temple exit
Spanning generations
Spanning generations