Chiang Mai's Doi Suthep temple, Suthep Mountain top attraction.
Discover the Doi Suthep Temple
Perched high on Mount Doi Suthep is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, a magnificent Buddhist temple draped in gold, also known as Doi Suthep Temple, the holiest temple in northern Thailand and one of the most sacred temples in Chiang Mai Province. Wat means temple in Thai.
In 1383, King Keu Naone established a monastery in Lanna to enshrine a bone shard believed to be from the shoulder of the historical Buddha. The bone shard was brought to Lanna by a wandering monk from Sukhothai and broken into two pieces. One piece was enshrined at Wat Suan Dok, while the second fragment was mounted onto a sacred white elephant that wandered the jungle until it died. The monastery’s terrace features breadfruit trees, shrines, rock gardens, and monuments, including a statue of the white elephant carrying the Buddha relic. Children pay respects to a guardian dragon statue called ‘Mom’ before entering the inner courtyard.
The inner terrace features a walkway circinating the golden chedi enshrining the relic, marking the city’s independence from Burma and its union with Thailand. Pilgrims queue to leave offerings at shrines surrounding the chedi, which are studded with Buddha statues in various poses and materials. The Doi Suthep Vipassana Meditation Center conducts religious outreach programs for visitors within the monastery compound.
Naga staircase at Doi suthep of Northern Thailand Buddhist temples.
At Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple, you can try to walk up Nāga stairs. The Nāga staircase is lined on both sides with a snake-like being, called Nāga. This has its origin in the myth of the Buddha. The Buddha had reached enlightenment and was meditating under a Bodhi tree when it started raining heavily. A snake-like mythical creature appeared. It sheltered the Buddha with its hood from the rain. This was a Nāga called Mucalinda. The Nāga is often portrayed with multiple heads.
Naga staircase at Doi suthep temple
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep temple Compounds
Wat Phra That Doi Suthep complex comprises pavilions, pagodas, statues, and wiharns. Visitors can visit a museum that is constructed inside the premise where one can find ancient relics, photographs, and old pieces of temple wares. Also, the pavilions contain the living quarters for monks, a prayer hall called Ubosot, a souvenir shop, and a small shops for drinks and snacks.
Buddha image at Doi Suthep
Golden Pagoda At Doi Suthep Temple
This golden Chedi is 24 meters tall and gold plated from top to bottom, located on second floor at center of temple.
Golden Pagoda in Lanna Chiangmai style
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