Wat Jed Yod
The Wat Jed Yod is an attractive Lanna era temple complex in the outskirts of Chiang Mai that contains some very unique architecture. The temple that is also known as Wat Chet Yot and Wat Photharam Maha Vihara is a Royal temple dating back to the 15th century. Its architectural style shows Lanna, Rattanakosin, Lao, Chinese and Indian influence. The temple was built during the reign of King Tilokkarat, King of the Lanna Kingdom from 1441 until 1487. The King’s ashes are enshrined in a chedi on the temple grounds. In 1477 the 8th World Buddhist Council was held here to discuss the texts of the Tripitaka, the scriptures containing the Buddhist teachings.
The unusual design of the main rectangular chedi with seven peaks was copied from the Maha Bodhi Temple in Bodhgaya, India, where the Buddha first achieved enlightenment. The temple also has architectural elements reflecting Burmese and early Chinese influences supposed to date back to the Yuan and Ming dynasties. Of more interest is the exterior, on which several sculpted figures survive. The extraordinary proportions, the angelic, levitating devata figures carved into the base of the chedi, and the juxtaposition of the other buildings make Wat Jed Yod a masterpiece. Whilst many parts are missing, you can still see some finely detailed figures. The whole is unusually asymmetrical, with the figures on one side seated, while those on the other are standing.
Inside the viharn is a large seated Buddha on a pedestal with a somewhat smaller Buddha image in front of it placed opposite the entrance. One of the sides of the viharn contains a tunnel like structure where a large sitting Buddha image is enshrined. Next to the viharn are two large gongs and a number of bells. Behind the viharn is the more modern ubosot or ordination hall.
There are three chedis or pagodas on the temple grounds. The largest chedi named the Phra Chedi has a square shape with niches on all four sides and a tall spire on top. It was built in 1487 to enshrine the ashes of King Tilokkarat. This Lanna style chedi also contains the Phra Kan Janthra Buddha image. Another chedi, set on a brick base has collapsed. The third chedi, with an octagonal shape and multiple levels containing niches, is set on a square brick base. The top of the structure is missing.
How to get to the Wat Jed Yod
The Wat Jed Yod is located in the North West part of Chiang Mai city, around 2 kilometers from the old walled city center. The temple is found just North of the Chiang Mai to Lampang superhighway (Highway 11), a few hundred meters from the Chiang Mai National Museum. To get there, take a tuk tuk (agree on the price before setting off) or drive there yourself on a rented bicycle.
Opening hours : The temple grounds are open daily from 6 am until 6 pm.