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Wat Ku Kham

Wat Ku Kham

Wat Ku Kham is an ancient Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai. Currently known as Wat Chedi Liam, this historic place of worship was built around 1287, and was widely used during the Lan Na era after Chiang Mai was recently established as a new city by King Mengrai the Great.

This stunning 13th-century temple is still in use today by resident monks.

Wat Kuu Kham, Buddhist Temple Address & Opening Hours, Chiang Mai

Its name means ‘temple of the square chedi’, and its distinct chedi was built in 1288 by King Mengrai. It is designed with the Mon Haripunchai style of the Wat Ku Kut located in Lamphun; the former capital of the Hariphunchai Kingdom which was just conquered by Mengrai.

Wat Ku Kham has a stepped pyramid which stands on a square base, featuring five square tiers in diminishing sizes. Each tier’s side features three niches which house 60 images of a standing Buddha in a yellow robe. There are also arches built over the niches that are found in the 2nd and 3rd tier, which are designed with mythological Naga serpents. The arches around other tiers are decorated with flower motifs – a common theme in other Lanna temples.

The chedi was first restored in 1908; thanks to the generosity of a Burmese magnate. However, he added Burmese touches to the original Mon style; these are evident in the Chinthe statues; a mythological lion that is found in many Burmese temples. A Burmese spire was also added to corners of the five tiers, while a golden Burmese hti spire was added on top of the chedi.

The Wat Ku Kham’s viharn features a two-tiered roof, though it was built more recently in the early 20th century. It’s adorned with a Lanna-style front gable in ochre and gold, while naga snakes guard the entrance to the building. The viharn houses the main Buddha image of the temple.

Meanwhile, the temple’s ubosot, also known as an ordination hall, is ornately designed in Lanna style. An intricately carved wood barge board and chofah finials are among the most distinctive features of the ubosot.

About the author

Michael Jones

Michael created and runs the Chiang Mai Travel Hub website, as well as the Holiday Point travel brand that incorporates a network of 16 location based travel information and attraction websites around Australia, Asia, and around the world.

With 25+ years of online experience and a passion for travel (having lived in Chiang Mai for several years and has since visited several times), Michael not only researches and writes content for the website, he also tinkers behind the scenes with the website functionality & design.

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Kaeonawarat Rd Soi 5, Wat Ket, Mueang Chiang Mai

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