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Wat Mahawan

Wat Mahawan

Wat Mahawan is a beautiful temple designed with Lanna and Burmese influences.

Located just outside the old walled city of Chiang Mai, this temple features many incredible, intricate carvings of mythical creatures.

Wat Mahawan, Buddhist Temple, Address, Hours & History, Chiang Mai

The temple, which is several centuries old, was built in 657 during the reign of Queen Chamthewi; the founding queen of Haripunchai. The queen ordered the construction of the temple as the monk’s residence. Inside, you will find the dazzling enshrined statue of PhraSila Dum, which is also the highlight of the temple and located inside the Vihan. The gorgeous image of a meditating Buddha was carved from black stone, and today it’s one of the most striking Buddha images in northern Thailand.

The evident Burmese influences in the temple are because the temple was a popular veneration site for the Burmese teak traders who used to live in the area long ago. Check out the Ho Trai scripture library, which was once used as a residence of the abbot. It also once served as a library for temple scriptures, where they kept important copies of the Tripitaka, where Buddhist teachings were initially written on dried palm leaves.

There are many notable characteristics of this old temple. For one, the main Lanna viharn features several tiers on its roof; built back in 1865. Amazing Naga serpents adorn the barge boards, while the rooftop has a small bird that represents Garuda, a legendary creature in Buddhist, Hindu, and Jain mythology. Then, two big Chinthe, or lion-like sculptures, guards the entrance of the hall.

The temple is open to visitors daily from 6am to 8:30pm and is around 300 meters East of the Tha Phae gate. Admission is completely free, but they accept donations to support the maintenance and upkeep of the temple. You may also take advantage of the inexpensive massages as a means of supporting them.

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