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Postcard from Wat Phra Singh / Chiang Mai / Thailand | by I Prahin |
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Postcard from Wat Phra Singh / Chiang Mai / Thailand

Wat Phra Singh (full name: Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn) is a Buddhist temple (Wat) in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII), bestowed it the status of Royal temple of the first grade in 1935.


The temple houses an important Buddha statue: the Phra Buddha Sihing which gives the temple its name. The origins of this statue are unknown 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).


Construction on Wat Phra Singh began in 1345 when King Phayu, the fifth king of the Mangrai dynasty, had a chedi built to house the ashes of his father King Kham Fu. A wihan and several other buildings were added a few years later and the resulting complex was named Wat Lichiang Phra. When, in 1367, the statue of Phra Buddha Singh was brought to the temple, the temple complex received its present name. From 1578 to 1774 the Burmese ruled Lanna and in this period the temple was abandoned and came under serious disrepair. It was only when King Kawila assumed the throne as King of Chiang Mai in 1782, that the temple was restored. The whole temple complex underwent extensive renovations under the famous monk Khru Ba Srivichai during the 1920s. Many of the buildings were again restored in 2002.


Chiang Mai is a city famous for its beautiful temples. This one for me would rank in the top 3 for beauty. I only had 1 morning to tour the temples and was lucky with the weather. This is image is processed from 3 blended exposures.


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Taken on October 24, 2012