Onwards on our breakneck tour of as many Chiang Mai temples as I could cram in!
One of the must see temples is Wat Chedi Laung. An imposing chunk of temple where you can take part in Monk Chat!
Here’s some handy facts (nicked off Wikipedia!) Chedi Laung means Royal Chedi – this was the official temple of the Lanna kings as it was close to the former royal palace.
The construction of the temple started in the 14th century, when King Saen Muang Ma planned to bury the ashes of his father there.
After 10 years of building time it was left unfinished, later to be continued after the death of the king by his widow. It took until mid-15th century to be finished during the reign of king Tilokaraj. At the time it was the largest building in all of the Lanna kingdom.
In the year 1545 a massive earthquake destroyed much of the chedi. The quake took off about 60 meters from the top of the chedi after which about 60 meters remained. It was partially restored in the 1990s.
The partially ruined wat is most famous as the former home of the Emerald Buddha. Now rehomed in Bangkok, a replica of the Buddha sits in one of the chedi niches.
The ruined brick chedi of Wat Chedi Luang now rises to about 60m in height and its base is 44m (144 ft.) wide.
It has four sides, each with a niche approached by a monumental stairway guarded by stone nagas (mythical snakes). Elephants stand guard midway up the platform.
Young monks make a dash for cover in between torrential rain in the temple complex.
But the best bit (for me anyway) were the colourful animal statues dotted around the complex. There were monkeys,cockerels, rats and more. I assume they were all signifying Chinese birth years.
This psychedelic critters made my day!
Couldn’t help myself, had to squeeze as many of the zany, multicoloured oddities in as possible!