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Photographer's Note

Staying on in Thailand...Chiang Mai to be precise....

Wat Phra Sing or Wat Phra Singh (Temple of the Lion Buddha) is an important Buddhist monastery and temple on the west side of Chiang Mai, Thailand. This is the big one though — the main city temple — the most prestigious and if you’re only going to visit one temple in Chiang Mai you may as well make it, this is the one.

The temple complex houses no less than three viharn where Buddha images are housed, a large ordination or prayer hall, (ubosot), a Lanna-style library and a large main stupa or chedi, as well as numerous subsidiary buildings and smaller shrines and chedis set in spacious grounds.

Wat Phra Singh was built in 1345 by King Pha Yu for the ashes of his father, King Kham Fu. It may have been the first monastery to house the Emerald Buddha, which is now enshrined in Wat Phra Kaew, Bangkok.
This temple contains supreme examples of Lanna art. A chedi was first built by King Pha Yu (r.1337-55) to house the bones of his father King Kam Fu (r.1328- 37). Chao Thammalangka (r.1813-21) and his successor, Chao Kham Fan (r. 1821-1825) further added (or rebuilt) the Viharn Lai Kham and the elegant scripture library building. Further renovations were carried out in the 1920's when Khru Ba Srivichai supervised the construction of the present main viharn and rebuilt the chedi. The ubosot and scripture library were renovated in 1929.

The recently restored Viharn Lai Kham which can be seen on the left, is a classic example of a Lanna style viharn and was built to house the Phra Sing image enthroned inside. Lai Kham refers to the elegant gold tracery used for decoration. The front of the building is in three tiers. The portico has finely carved gables as well as an ornate stucco sum above the main doors.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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