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Wat Phra That Hariphunchai Woramahawihan

Wat Phra That Hariphunchai Woramahawihan

The Wat Phra That Hariphunchai Woramahawihan is an ancient temple found in Lamphun.

The temple, whose name means Temple of the Sacred Hariphunchai Relic, is known for its large size and majestic, imperial ambience.

Wat Phra That Hariphunchai Woramahawihan, Temple Hours, Lamphun

The temple was built on the site of a 9th century Mon temple over the spot where Queen Chamadevi, the first ruler of the Hariphunchai Kingdom, was located. What makes it striking is the fact that it’s one of the last few sites in Thailand where visitors can get a glimpse of Mon architecture that is still so well-preserved until the present day.

Legend has it that the temple was built in 1150 by a king from the Hariphunchai kingdom, with the purpose of enshrining a relic of Buddha which was found in the palace’s garden.

By the end of the 13th century, King Mengrai besieged Hariphunchai and made Lamphun part of the Lanna Kingdom. Then sometime during the 15th century, the temple underwent renovation and expansion, with the addition of numerous Lanna structures. Today, the temple grounds feature these same structures, as well as many chedis. The arched gate welcomes visitors at the entrance, which is guarded by ferocious red lion statues.

A notable feature of the Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan is the Ho Trai, or library, which houses ancient Buddhist literature. The library itself is a beautiful teak structure featuring a roof with several tiers and ornately carved doors. Other interesting features of the temple include the revered chapel which contains several large footprints of Buddha, as well as an open-aired red pavilion that houses a big bronze gong and a bell. Check out the museum where you’ll find many old images of Buddha done in various styles including Lanna and Mon.

The temple is found in the heart of Lamphun and sits on the west bank of the river Kuang. It’s open daily from 6am to 6pm, with the exception of Thai national holidays and Mondays.