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Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong

Posted on: 19th February 2016

Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong has been a sacred place in Chiang Rai for a very long time. Even before the arrival of Buddhism in the area, it has been revered as the home of the local spirits. Situated in the middle of the temple grounds is a chedi, the temple’s center of attraction. About 14 meters tall, this chedi has been built in a fine blend of Bhu-kam and Lanna styles. It’s body, bell, the lotus-petal base and the top spire are all embellished with gold foil. In the year 1992, the City Pillar was relocated to Doi Chom Thong from Wat Klang Wiang where it is now known as Sadue Muang, Omphalos or the Navel of the city.

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The Great City Pillars of Chiang Rai

Located next to Wat Phra That Doi Chom Thong are the 108 city pillars of Chiang Rai. These were constructed in 1988 to pay homage to King Mengrai and also to celebrate the 60th birthday of King Bhumibol. Reflecting a combination of Hindu and Buddhist theology, the pillars were built and set in accordance with the traditional Lanna beliefs. The main pillars are 5 feet thick and are found on the outer corners. Their height was kept so as to match with that of the king. The internal pillars are so arranged as to form many tiers of circles, symbolizing the universe with the gigantic Sumeru Mountain in the middle. The 5 water troughs around the outside symbolize the 5 oceans with Nirvana at its peak.

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