Chiang Mai's Wat Pra Singh Temple

The wanderer of streets in the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand, is bound to come upon many, many, many Buddhist temples. To the uninitiated, it is honestly quite challenging to know what makes one different from another. And yet, if you dig just a bit, you can find a rich history behind each one.

Wat Pra Singh, nestled in the central west side of the old city in Chiang Mai, dates back to 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. During restoration works in 1925, three funerary urns were discovered inside a small chedi. It was assumed that these contained royal ashes. The urns have since been lost. 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. King Kawila had the ubosot built and the chedi enlarged. Later successors restored the Wihan Lai Kham and the elegant Ho Trai (temple library).“ Thanks Wikipedia!

One of the more interesting features are the wax monks that I totally thought were real, very motionless old men. Yeah, those pictures below of all the monks lined up…. they are totally fake!