Wat Suan Dok
Wat Suan Dok
Temple : #Wat
139 Suthep Road, Tambon Su Thep - Chiang Mai ( Chiang Mai )
08.00 - 17.00  - $   | View Events
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Wat Suan Dok

Wat Suan Dok is a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai that houses several structures of historical significance. Built in 1371 by King Kue Na, the sixth king of Mangrai Dynasty, the temple was originally intended to be the retreat monastery for the revered monk Sumana Thera from Sukothai who introduced Lanka doctrinal school in Lanna Kingdom. Originally named Wat Buppharam Dok Mai, or Wat Suan Dok Mai, the temple was built in the center of Wiang Suan Dok, a fortified settlement that existed before the foundation of Chiang Mai. The wiang's outlines are still clearly visible on satellite images today. Located on Suthep Road, the area covers approximately 5.7 hectares, about 1 km west of Suan Dok Gate, and was earlier used as a flower garden of Mangrai royal family before an order to establish the royal temple on the land. Wat Suan Dok's holy edifices include the principal pagoda that enshrines the Buddha’s relics, a garden of whitewashed mausoleums housing the ashes of past rulers and important nobles of Chiang Mai, a Phra Ubosot, and a large open-air Viharn, the temple's assembly hall. The 48 metres high golden principal pagoda, built in Lankan style, is visible from afar. Declared a national ancient monument, the bell-shaped chedi originally had long stairs on all four sides that lead to a narrow terrace of five meters all around the chedi, they are now replaced by a ramp. The balustrade is formed by the combination of a seven Naga snakes and Makara figures in Na-Lan classic-style. On each of the four sides, there’s an opening which allows access to the pagoda. Inside, it houses the Buddha’s relics brought over from another temple in Sukhothai. The temple's Viharn is located next to the main pagoda. The large open-air structure with low, sweeping roofs and wrap-around terraces, is unique in Chiang Mai, as the assembly halls are almost always closed structures. Inside the assembly hall lie two beautiful Buddha images. The main statue, Phra Phutthapatima Khakhing sitting in meditation posture, Bhumisparsha-Mudra, looks at east, whiles the standing statue, slightly smaller, carries a bundle of blades of grass in the right hand and looks at the golden pagoda. Both images were merged in the La-Na style at the time of King Kue Na, likely in 1373. The Phra Ubosot, the temple's ordination hall, is home of main Buddha image of Wat Suan Dok. Phrachao Kao Tue, a statue of 10.8 tons, 3 metres in width and 4.7 metres in height, was merged in the ancient Chiang Saen style by Lanna and Sukhothai craftsmen in King Phraya Mueang Kaeo’s period, the thirteenth king of Mangrai Dynasty in 1504. The intention of the casting was to be the main image of Wat Phra Sing nearby, but the after-casting weight made the king decide to establish a part of his own palace as an assembly hall of the temple which he later named Wat Kao Tue instead. In the northern part of the temple is a collection of white-lined mausoleums of various sizes. Here are the mortal remains of members of the royal families Lanna and important nobles of Chiang Mai, as well as the ashes of Princess Dara Rasmi, one of the wives of King Chulalongkorn, and those of daughter of the Lanna King Intha Wichayanon.
Admission fee & Opening hours: The temple is open daily from 08:00 to 17:00. Admission for Thai nationals and foreigners is free.
Getting there: Wat Suan Dok on Suthep Road is located just outside the city walls, about 1 km west of Suan Dok Gate, and easily accessible on foot or by songthaew for those who stay alredy in the center of Chiang Mai.
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