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Wat Phra Singh

The religious notability of Wat Phra Singh or more formally called Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn is great but the love of this temple is what makes it so well cared for compared to most city temples.

 

The location:
The location is straight towards the center of the old city from The main city gate ( Taphae gate) and you will end up walking in time right inside the temple ground.

The Religious notability:
The temple houses the Phra Buddha Sihing which gives the temple its name. The true origins of this statue has been long forgotten but, according to legend, it was based on the lion of Shakya, a statue since lost which used to be housed in the Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya (India). The Phra Buddha Sihing statue is supposed to have been brought, via Ceylon (now known as Sri Lanka), to Ligor (present day Nakhon Si Thammarat and from there, via Ayutthaya, then to Chiang Mai.

However there are two other Buddha statues in Thailand which are claimed to be the Authentic Phra Buddha Sihing: one is in Wat Phra Mahathat in the city of Nakhon Si Thammarat and another in the Bangkok National Museum.



It is alleged that the head of the statue had been stolen in 1922. The possibility remains that the present statue (or maybe only the head) is a copy.

Every year, during the beginning of April, the Songkran festival, this Statue and may other priceless statues are paraded through the streets of Chiang Mai in a local religious procession during which the citizens of northern Thailand honour the statue by sprinkling scented water over them.

 

It is a very different scene from the locals and tourist throwing klong and ice water at each other all around the city, and just blocks away.

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