Wat Chiang Man
The Wat Chiang Man is the oldest temple in Chiang Mai and goes back all the way to the founding of the city in 1296. When King Mengrai decided to build a new city and make it the new capital of the Lanna Kingdom, he build the Wat Chiang Man as the first temple of the new city on the site he used to supervise the construction of Chiang Mai. The temple holds several very old and important Buddha images.
Structures of the Wat Chiang Man
Like in most wats, the oldest structure is the chedi. The chedi named Chang Lom Chedi or Elephant Chedi sits on a square base supporting a second level of grey stone that is surrounded by 16 elephants that seem to emerge from it. On top sits the gilded upper part of the chedi, which contains a relic chamber. The chedi is a mixture of Lanna and Singhalese styles.
The large viharn
The larger of the two viharns is an impressive building with a three tiered roof. The front of the Lanna style viharn is decorated with wood carvings in gold and ochre colors. The building was renovated in the 1920’s by the famous monk Khru Ba Srivichai. This viharn houses the oldest Buddha image in Chiang Mai. The image is a standing Buddha holding an alms bowl, the inscription on its base dates it to 1465.
How to get to the Wat Chiang Man
The Wat Chiang Man is located in the North East corner of the old walled part of Chiang Mai, between Phra Pok Klao 13 road and Ratchaphakhinai 1 road. Entering the old walled part of the city through the Chang Puak gate in the North wall, take a left turn to Ratchaphakhinai 1 road. The temple is then on the right side after about 200 meters.
Opening hours : The temple grounds are open daily from 6 am until 6 pm.