S.P. Publishing Group Co., Ltd.
11/1 Soi 3 Bamrungburi Rd., T. Prasingh,
A. Muang., Chiang Mai 50200
Tel. 053 - 814 455-6 Fax. 053 - 814 457
Making Merit at Nine Temples
Buddhists in Thailand strongly believe that worshipping at temples is a way of making merit, and so during special annual festivals and religious holidays, lots of people pay homage to significant temples. One of their popular practices is to visit nine temples all in one day. Why nine, you may ask? In Thai, the number nine is pronounced as "gao", which is similar to the sound of the word which means to step ahead and to progress in a positive way. In addition, most people believe the respects that they pay at nine
sacred places will bring prosperity and luck to their lives. There are nine temples in Chiang Mai which are popular among local residents and tourists due to their importance, and are in the main located in the old city area, are close to each other, and have names with good meanings. Luckily for its residents going to nine temples within one day in Chiang Mai is definitely a possibility. If you are a tourist and not Buddhist, you will still be warmly welcomed at these temples, where you can appreciate some ancient Lanna cultural heritage, arts, and the Buddhist way of life. The
following are the nine sacred temples in Chiang Mai city which most tourists like to visit.
Wat Muen Ngern Kong
Built in the period of King Kuena by Muen Ngern Kong (the Minister of Finance) circa 1339 - 1337, the site has an antique ordination hall made of wood.
Wat Phra Jao Mengrai
The third temple built by Phra Jao Mengrai, the ruler of Chiang Saen and Chiang Mai. The main attraction is the inside assembly hall (vihara) that displays a Buddha image in the standing posture. Surrounding the assembly hall are pagodas and the main chapel.
Wat Chedi Luang
Luang means big, so the meaning of the temple's name is the big chedi (pagoda), or the big stupa. This temple is one of Lanna's most historic sites and the temple is also a centre for numerous old Lanna heritage monuments, for example the Intakhin or city central pillar, which has a festival devoted to it coming up at the end of this month.
Wat Pantao is located within a short walking distance from Wat Chedi Luang. The temple attracts tourists due to its ancient teakwood vihara.
Here can also be found a wooden vihara elegantly standing together with an antique ubosod (ordination hall) and chedi.
Wat Umong Maha Terajan
The temple's name derives from a very famous monk who lived centuries ago.
Wat Chiang Man
This temple is one of the best sites to learn history at because it was the first temple built by the city's founder, King Mengrai.
This temple has a very beautiful vihara, entirely made of wood, aged about 500 years.
This is another temple where the historical wooden vihara has been preserved as its own Lanna cultural heritage.