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Wat Suan Dok

This temple was built in a square and was walled, outside the the main Chiang Mai city walls and was located to the west of the city. King Ku Na invited the revered monk Sumana Thera, from Sukhothai to teach the Buddhism of Ceylon to Chiang Mai.

King Ku Na bestoyed his Royal flower garden (Suan Dok) as a site to build a Buddhist temple. Wat Suan Dok was began in 1371. Thus the name Wat Suan DokWat Suan Dok (Temple flower garden).

During the period which Sumana Thera was staying in Sukhothai, he had a spiritual vision in which God told him where to locate a  Buddhist holy relic near Sukhothai. After finding the relic, it glowed and thus confirming its great power.

When King Ku Na offered Sumana Thera to come and bring the holy relic too. It has been said the the relic had grown into two separate pieces one the same size as the original and second smaller in size.  The smaller was interned at Wat Suan Dok, while the other was placed at a newly erected chedi at ehat was tobecome known as Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep. See White Elephant Story

The large viharnat Wat Suan Dok was restored in the1930's by Khru Ba Srivichai.
A smaller viharn to the south houses a seated Buddha Statue called Phra Chao Kao Tue - It was cast for King Muang Kaew in the year 1504. This Lanna style Buddha image stands an impressive 4.7 meters tall and was cast nine seperate pieces. The walls of the hall are covered with hand painted murals depicting the lives of the Lord Buddha.

On the ground west of the large viharn stand several smaller chedis containing the relocated ashes of the Old Royal Lanna  family of Chiang Mai. They were relocated to Wat Suan Dok at the request of the beloved Princess Dararatsmi in 1909, the widow of the Thai king Rama 5th. Thus this Temple has been compared to the cemeteries of New Orleans.

The Temple grounds also house the northern campus of the Maha Chulalongkorn Buddhist University. Making it a very active temple complete with a vegitarian restaurant called PunPun Restaurant .

Wat Suan Dok is also a place where you can learn more about Buddhism, by attending their one on one "monk chat" times. Where you can talk with a young Buddhist monks. This program is in good opertunity for monks to increase their English skills,  however do not expect fluent English from them.

Top Photo By John Glines

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lamphun-wat phra that hariphunchai-01     
       ited in mid-town, Wat Phra That Hariphunchai was built during the reign of King Arthitayarat, a descendant of Queen Chamthewi some 800 years ago.A principal landmark is the 46-metre tall golden Chedi which contains a hair of the Lord Buddha, having nine-tiered umbrella, made of gold weighing approximately 6,498.75 grams...

Chiang Rai

      on the bank of the Kok River within town area, contains what is believed to be the oldest Holy Relic even before King Mengrai built Chiang Rai. Doi Chom Thong has been a sacred site for aextremely long time. The site was surely reverenced as the home of local spirits before Buddhism arrived in the area.

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