6 BEAUTIFUL ATTRACTIONS | WAT PHRA SINGH | CHIANG MAI
Wat Phra Singh is one of the most beautiful attractions and temples in Chiang Mai, Thailand. In fact, I visited the temple twice, first when I attended a special training in Chiang Mai last 2011 and last 2016 during the familiarization trip sponsored by the Tourism Authority of Thailand.
Wat Prah Singh is a large complex with many structures and beautiful features. I listed below 6 beautiful sights/structures found at Wat Prah Singh.
The Wihan Luang is the main building which will greet visitors the moment they enter the Wat Pra Singh Complex. The temple’s façade is intricately decorated with beautiful gilded carvings. The present Wihan Luang structure, however, is just a replacement of the original building in 1925.
Wihan Lai Kham
Considered as the main attraction of the complex is the Wihan Lai Kham. The Wihan Lai Kham was built in 1345 to honor and to house the statue of Phra Buddha Singh. The Wihan Lai Kham is considered as a classic example of the Lanna architecture. Inside the building are beautiful murals reiterating history of Songthong and Suwanna Hongse.
The Ubosot is the holiest prayer room in a Buddhist Temple. Ubosot is also called the “ordination hall” wherein ordinations of the monks are being held. The Ubosot in Wat Prah Singh was erected 1806. The Ubosot has two entrances: the south entrance dedicated for monks and a north entrance dedicated for the nuns. The Ubosot houses the smaller version of the Phra Buddha Sihing Statue, the Phrachaotongtip Buddha statue.At the northern end of the structure, near the entrance for the nuns, lies the statue of the Emerald Buddha.
Another surprising structure at the Wat Prah Singh is the temple library. This structure is another classic example of Lanna architecture and considered by many as one of the most beautiful temple libraries in Thailand. Guarding the stairs are lions coming from the mouths of a Makara, a mythical water creature which serves as the guard of the temple.
The Phrathatluang at Wat Prah Singh was built in 1345 which was enlarge several times since its construction. The half of an elephant image adorned each side of the square base of the main chedi. (Chedi otherwise known as a stupa is usually seen in the form of a bell-shaped tower and has a relic chamber.)
The Kulai Chedi
The Kulai Chedi is small square base structure, built as a pagoda with five tiered roofs by King Mueangkaeo (1495-1525). The Kulai Chedi is connected to Wihan Lai Kham by a short tunnel which was made exclusive to any visitors. When the chedi was restored under King Dharmalanka (1813-1822) restored the chedi. It is said that a golden box containing ancient relics was found during the restoration. The golden box and its contents were returned inside the chedi after the works were completed.
HOW TO GET TO WAT PRAH SINGH:
Wat Pra Singh is situated at the end of the main street (Rachadamnoen road) of Chiang Mai also known as the Walking Street Market in Chiang Mai. Rachadamnoen road runs east from the temple, through Tapae Gate, to the Ping River.