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Wat Chedi Luang, Chiang Mai

Wat Chedi Luang is one of the two most impressive temple within the old walled city area of Chiang Mai.

Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai

Wat Chedi Luang in Chiang Mai

Wat Chedi Luang is open to visitors every day from 06:00 to 18:00. Foreign visitors are required to pay an entrance fee of 40 THB. 


About Wat Chedi Luang


Wat Chedi Luang is the ‘Temple of the Great Stupa’. A stupa, often referred to as a chedi in Thailand, is a large tower inside which holy relics or the ashes of Kings or Queens are enshrined. The chedi at Wat Chedi Luang was originally somewhere between 82 and 85 metres tall and over 50 metres wide at the base. Construction on the chedi began in 1395 on orders from Lanna King Saen Muang Ma which the intention of burying his father’s ashes inside, however, the massive project in fact took until 1475 to complete. Unfortunately, a large section of the chedi fell down in 1545 during an earthquake and since then it has only been partially reconstructed.

Main stupa at Wat Chedi Luang

Main stupa at Wat Chedi Luang

On each side of the chedi, above the base, is a niche where a statue was placed. One of the statues originally placed in a niche was the famous Emerald Buddha statue which stayed there from 1468 to 1551. A copy of the Emerald Buddha, made from black jade, was placed in the vacant niche in 1995, the 600 year anniversary of the date when construction of the chedi began.

Statue in niche near the top of Chedi Luang

Statue in a niche near the top of Chedi Luang

As well as the massive chedi, Wat Chedi Luang has several other buildings of interest to see. The largest building after the chedi is the main prayer hall located near to the entrance to the temple. This grand and ornate building was constructed in 1928.

Main prayer hall at Wat Chedi Luang

Main prayer hall at Wat Chedi Luang

Inside the main prayer hall at Wat Chedi Luang is a large standing Buddha statue cast in the late 14th Century for the temple. The statue is called the Phra Chao Attarot.

Phra Chao Attarot statue at Wat Chedi Luang

Phra Chao Attarot statue at Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang covers a large and contains lots more buildings and shrines. This is partly because the temple was created by combining two smaller temples each with their own set of temple buildings.

Smaller wooden prayer hall at Wat Chedi Luang

Smaller wooden prayer hall at Wat Chedi Luang

There is a second smaller prayer hall at Wat Chedi Luang which is made of wood set on a concrete base. This smaller prayer hall is a beautiful example of a distinctive Lanna style building.

City Pillar Shrine at Wat Chedi Luang

City Pillar Shrine at Wat Chedi Luang

Another distinctive feature of Wat Chedi Luang is that Chiang Mai’s city pillar shrine is located within it grounds. Chiang Mai’s City Pillar Shrine pre-dates the wider tradition of installing city pillar shrines in other parts of Thailand which started with the installation of a City Pillar Shrine in Bangkok in 1782. Chiang Mai’s City Pillar Shrine was built in 1296 at different temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Inthakin, before being moved to Wat Chedi Luang in 1800.

Inside Chiang Mai's City Pillar Shrine

Inside Chiang Mai’s City Pillar Shrine

Unlike the city pillar shrines in Bangkok and most other provinces in Thailand, the city pillar shrine at Wat Chedi Luang does not feature a large column of acacia wood but rather a tall plinth under a Buddha statue above which is a pointed roof. The wall murals around inside the shrine are interesting also as they depict scenes from the history of the temple including the earth quake which toppled the chedi. Visitors should note that women are not allowed inside this shrine and never have been since the time it was first built.


Location of Wat Chedi Luang


Next see Flight times from Bangkok to Chiang Mai