Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Part 11: Wat Prah Singh Temple
When you travel to Thailand, you should make sure to see the temples. In my last Travel to Thailand, one temple we’ve visited was the Wat Prah Singh Temple.
Wat Phra Singh ,perhaps the largest and most interesting in Chiang Mai, although it may not seemed so at first glance. Upon entering the main gate, you will be greeted by a large and dusty parking area. Across the lot is a large wiharn (prayer hall) with an intricately carved front. This is your first clue that there’s more here than there might appear.
As you face the big wiharn, to your right is a small elaborate ho trai (library) built on a high stone base. The base has many beautiful carvings which have recently been renovated, as have the gilded carvings on the gable ends. Continuing on around the complex in a counter-clockwise direction, you’ll find a drum tower set in a yard shaded by many old trees. Sometimes there’s an artist or two at work here, and selling their work of course.
Directly behind the large prayer hall is a smaller building that serves as the temple’s ordination hall (ubosot). This is where young monks are ordained and some other important religious events are held. The wooden building shelters a large brick and plaster altar, that I suspect pre-dates the outer building and was originally out in the open. The clues to this is the altar’s shape and the fact that it sits in the middle of the building rather than at one end. The orientation of the entrances on a north – south axis rather than east – west is another clue. Like the library, the ubosot has recently been restored.
Next to the ubosot, in a line with the wiharn, is a large whitewashed pagoda (chedi). Next to it is a small but very ornate Wiharn which is worth a closer look. The outside is decorated in gold and ocher in a style which is ornate but without the gaudiness of many other temples.
I was amazed by the decorations . There was a brocade-like gold and red pattern on parts of the roof and back wall behind the altar. On the altar here (and not on the altar of the main wiharn) sits the Phra Singh Buddha image from which the temple takes its name. “Phra” is Thai for a priest or cleric and also used to refer to Buddha images. “Singh” means lion, but may be a corruption of the Thai word for Sri Lanka, where the image is supposed to come from.
Wat Phra Singh was founded in the fourteenth century to enshrine the ashes of King Kam Fu.
When you travel to Thailand and wanted to see these temples,Wat Prah Singh is located at the end of Ratchadamnoen Road which nearly bisects the old city, running from the Tapae gate all the way to the temple, which is just inside of the Suan Dok gate.
CHIANG MAI, THAILAND TRAVEL SERIES:
Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel Part 2: Getting to Chiang Mai Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 3 – Chiang Mai: The Rose of the North Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 4 – Alpine Golf Resort My Home for the Whole of March Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 5: Central Airport Plaza Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 6: Kantoke Traditional Dinner Show Chiang Mai , Thailand Part 7: Night Market Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 8: Doi Suthep Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 9: What to Buy Chiang Mai, Thailand Part 10: Elephant Chiang Mai, Thailand Travel, Part 11: Wat Prah Singh Chiang Mai , Thailand Travel Part 12: The Walking Street Market