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Wat Phra Singh

Posted on: 19th February 2016

Built in 1385, Wat Phra Singh is one of the oldest temples in Chiang Rai. The principal structures of this Lanna-style temple are the viharn, the ubosot, a chapel featuring the Buddha’s footprint and the living quarters of monks. Standing behind the viharn of Wat Phra Singh is the Sinhalese-style gold plated chedi. It features a spiral shaped top and a square base with shrines on its sides containing images of the Buddha. Phra Singh, one of Thailand’s much revered Buddha images, had been enshrined in this temple. This image in Bhumisparsha pose is believed to be of Sri Lankan origin. Wat Phra Singh temple also contains several replicas of the image including a purple jade, an ebony and a gold image.

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The Lanna Style Viharn

Built in the typical Lanna style, the viharn features Naga embellished bargeboards and a multi-tiered roof. The entrance is guarded by Singha, the gold and white lion figures, on either side of the staircase. The wooden doors as well as the facade’s panels are wonderfully carved with Thewada figures and Lanna flower motifs. Two peacock figures stand on left and right side of the stairs above both the doors. The viharn houses a gold-plated replica of the Phra Singh image that faces the entrance. Murals have been used to decorate the walls of the viharn. Built around a tree’s base is a circular platform with several niches painted red and containing Buddha images. There is also a Pali language school at the temple grounds and its huge white entrance gates are decorated with Naga snakes and Thewada figures.

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