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Chiang Mai City Pillar Shrine

Chiang Mai City Pillar Shrine

The Chiang Mai City Pillar Shrine is a crucial landmark of the old city. Also known as Wat Inthakhin, the pillar was erected by the famous King Mangrai when the city was founded on April 12, 1296 CE.

Its name, which means Temple of the Navel of the City, was initially built on Inthawarorot Road but has been transferred to its current location inside the temple grounds of Wat Chedi Luang during the reign of Kawila in 1800 CE.

Chiang Mai City Pillar Shrine, Inthakhin Lak Mueang, History & Address

The viharn of Wat Inthakhin is a recent addition to the temple, created to house the sacred images of Buddha. Before this, the images were kept in a shed. The dark Lanna-style viharn features a multi-tiered roof while the naga serpents welcome guests to its entrance. The viharn is where you will find the main Buddha image, known as the Luang Pho Khao. It was made in 1964 by the orders of Kawila before he was crowned king of the Lanna kingdom.

The two oldest structures in the temple are the brick chedis found on both sides of the road. It dates back to the 15th century when the first circular chedi was constructed over the existing one, a century later. The kuti, or the monks’ residences, are also found within the temple grounds.

Visitors who want to learn more about life during the Lanna Kingdom should check out the museum next to the Chiang Mai City Pillar Shrine. The Museum of Wat Inthakhin Sadue Muang features a thought-provoking display of life back then that include paintings of momentous events in history, people wearing traditional clothes of the 13th century, an elephant model with an image of Buddha imprinted on its back, and a scale model of Chiang Mai’s Wat Jed Yod temple.

The Chiang Mai City Pillar Shrine is located on Prapokklao Road and is open daily during sunlight hours.

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