Wat Chiang Man, Chiang Mai, Thailand
high-definition creative commons photographs from this old temple in Chiang Mai City, Thailand, showing the fine monochrome murals and the excellent glass mosaic work, together with further information.
Wat Chiang Man is the oldest Wat in the City. It was built in 1297, one year after King Mangrai began the city, and is situated in the auspicious northern sector of the City. The Viharn also has the oldest recorded Buddha statue in Chiang Mai, dated on its base to 1465, it is the first one known in Thailand to show the Buddha holding an almsbowl.
The Main Viharn was renovated in 1926 by Khru Ba Srivichai (1878-1938), who accomplished many such works during his lifetime and is considered a Lanna Saint. When we were there the inside of the temple was being festooned for an up-and-coming almsgiving ceremony the following day.
The two things that most impressed me were first, the glasswork at the temple, and secondly the elegant murals on the walls. The scenes are described in quite some detail by the writing on them, but it is all in Lanna script, which only a very few people know nowadays. I have tried to summarise the scenes depicted, but if anyone can read the script and give me more accurate information I would be grateful.
There is a second, smaller Viharn which has been built in modern times, which contains two important Buddha statues in a shrine (ku). Unfortunately the statues are so small, and the shrine so big, I found it impossible to get good photographs of these ancient images, which are so revered in the City.
It seems I missed photographing some important buildings when I was there: the old Chedi, the Scripture Hall and the pond, one of only two found in Wats in Chiang Mai. If I ever return...
Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu
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