Lamphun, Thailand

The neighboring provinces of Lampang and Lamphun in Northern Thailand have been ruled by several kingdoms since the 7th century and each of these have left historical fingerprints on the architecture, religion and culture of the Thai people. Please enjoy your short visit.

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1 Chedi Kukut and Viharn at Wat Chamthewi in Lamphun, Thailand

Here are two of the major structures at the Buddhist temple named Wat Chamthewi in Lamphun, Thailand. On the right is the main viharn with a two-tiered, red and green roof that is decorated with snake-like finals called lamyong. On the left is the unique, stepped-pyramid shaped Chedi Kukut. It was built at the end of the Mon Kingdom in the 11th century.

Wat Cham Thewi, Moo 5, Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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2 Chedi Kukut Close Up at Wat Chamthewi in Lamphun, Thailand

These are nine of the 60 standing, Dvaravati style Buddha statues inside niches that surround the Chedi Kukut at Wat Chamthewi. The stupa’s square base is 50 feet wide and the five tiers reach a height of 69 feet. Inside are the ashes of Queen Chama Thewi who became the first ruler of the Haripunchai Kingdom in 663 A.D.

Wat Cham Thewi, Moo 5, Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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3 Close Up of Buddha Statue at Wat Chamthewi in Lamphun, Thailand

The saffron robe over the left shoulder of this huge Buddha statue demonstrates humility. This gilded religious image dominates the altar inside of the viharn at Wat Chamthewi. The origin of this temple, which the locals call Wat Kukut, dates back to 749 which makes it one of Northern Thailand’s oldest wats.

Wat Cham Thewi, Moo 5, Tambon Nai Mueang, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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4 Red Lion at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun, Thailand

This is one of two mythological red lions that guard the front gate of Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun, Thailand. The origin of this Theravāda Buddhism temple dates back to 897 when the town became the capital of the Hariphunchai Kingdom. The location is on the former grounds of Queen Chama Thevi’s palace.

335 O Bo Cho Lamphun Ban Chambon Rd, Tambon Si Bua Ban, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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5 Tha Singha Gate at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun, Thailand

This magnificent, white-washed arch with a gilded gate is named Sum Pratu Khong or the Tha Singha Entrance Gate. The architectural style of layered castles on a lotus bud foundation is called thanpat luk kaeo ok kai.

335 O Bo Cho Lamphun Ban Chambon Rd, Tambon Si Bua Ban, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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6 Buddha with Halo at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun, Thailand

There are numerous Buddha statues on the grounds of Wat Phra That Hariphunchai. Some are encased while others are displayed in open pavilions called a sala. I especially liked this one with the mandoria or radiant light around the head and crown. The hand gesture is the Vitarka munda which means “intelligent argument or discussion.”

335 O Bo Cho Lamphun Ban Chambon Rd, Tambon Si Bua Ban, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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7 Phra Maha That Chedi at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun, Thailand

When the words “phra that” are part of the name of a chedi, it means it contains a revered relic. The 150 foot, bell-shaped Phra Maha That Chedi was built with copper plates in the 15th century. Inside of this Lanna style stupa is a smaller one that has contained hair from the Lord Buddha since the late 9th century. Surrounding the enclosure are four gilded parasols that were added about one thousand years later.

335 O Bo Cho Lamphun Ban Chambon Rd, Tambon Si Bua Ban, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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8 Temple Buildings at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun, Thailand

Here are examples of the Wat Phra That Hariphunchai’s beautiful architecture. On the right is the very ornate Viharn Luang, the temple’s largest prayer hall. In the center is the Ho Trai which houses the holy Tripitaka scriptures. Traditionally, libraries in Thai wats are built on elevated bases or stilts to protect their contents from insects. On the left is the gilded Phra Maha That Chedi. Finally, the small pavilion appeared to shelter a well for water.

335 O Bo Cho Lamphun Ban Chambon Rd, Tambon Si Bua Ban, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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9 Three Buddha Statues at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun, Thailand

On the altar of the Viharn Luang at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai are these three Buddha statues plus several others. Among the ensemble is one called the “Buddha with Sharp Shins.” It was cast from bronze in a town called Sop Li in 1489. Behind their heads is elegant gold stenciling in the Lai Kham style.

335 O Bo Cho Lamphun Ban Chambon Rd, Tambon Si Bua Ban, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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10 Bell Tower at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun, Thailand

A typical feature at a Buddhist temple is the presence of a bell tower. Called a Ho Rakhang, they are used to wake up the monks and to call them to religious ceremonies. The Moon-shaped Bell Tower at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai is two-tiered. On the lower level hangs a large bronze gong and above it is a bell. A nearby inscription explains that the originals were cast in 2414 B.E and 2403 B.E respectively.

335 O Bo Cho Lamphun Ban Chambon Rd, Tambon Si Bua Ban, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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11 Viharn Altar at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphun, Thailand

There are four viharns at the very large Wat Phra That Hariphunchai temple complex. Next to the chedi is one of the smaller prayer halls called Viharn Phra Chao Lawo and inside this large Buddha image dominates the altar. It is sitting in the Bhumisparsha mudra which is also known as the Earth Touching position. Notice in the lower left corner how donations are attached to sticks. Sometimes these sticks, which are purchased at the temple, have a person’s fortune written on it similar to a fortune cookie.

335 O Bo Cho Lamphun Ban Chambon Rd, Tambon Si Bua Ban, Amphoe Mueang Lamphun, 51000, Thailand
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