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Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Chiangmai Wats - Wat Lok Molee

Located along Maninopparat Road just opposite Wat Monthien [see post]

If you walk further down the road for a good 5-10 minutes in the evening, you will find food stalls setting up, one of which is the popular pig trotter rice stall ‘Cowgirl’s Pig Trotter Rice’ which is very popular among locals and tourists.  The prices of food here are rather reasonable.
Was attracted to this Wat which is small and looks old but surprisingly the inside is packed with wonders.  The cravings you see on the walls and ceiling is just awesome.
 Wat Lok Molee, built in the mid-1300's is one of the favorite Temples in Chiang Mai.  The grounds were originally used as a Royal Palace until 1397 when King Guna turned it into a place to house 10 visiting Monks from Burma he brought in to further spread the word of Buddhism.  The grounds remained largely untouched 1527 when King Phra Muang Kaew started erecting the temple's current buildings.

First came the giant three-tiered brick Chedi and was followed by the large Ordination Hall [ubosot].  When the King was assassinated in 1545 his ashes were buried here and his wife Queen Wissuthidhevee took over the rule of Chiang Mai.  Sadly just 11 years later the Burmese overtook Chiang Mai on the start of a 224 year occupation, but they left the grounds largely untouched and even buried the Queen here with a large ceremony when she died in 1578. 
In 2003 the Temple undergone a huge renovation which included rebuilding of the main Hall building (the original brick foundation is still visible) and new Ubosot outcrop buildings for the Monks on the Westside of the grounds.

In front of the the main Hall are two really cool White Elephant statues (symbols of the King) and two red Yaksha Demon Warriors guarding the front Temple from evil.  Maybe even more interesting are the details around the Ubosot buildings such as a pond with Hindu Deities.
On the left, there is a thousand arms Goddess of Mercy and a small garden with a bullock cart.
Reference: Big Boy

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