Photo Gallery & Impressions 13e


Wat Phra That Doi Suthep & Temple Grounds high on a mountain west of Chiang Mai.  After our morning tour of the quiet and peaceful Wat Doi Saket, we decide to also visit the more popular wat on the mountain just west of the city. As our brochure states, "According to legend, holy rerlics discovered during the reign of King Kuena (1355-1385) were placed in a howdah on the back of a white elephant." When the elephant reached the site of this wat, he dropped dead, so the holy relics were placed in the golden chedi which is the center of this temple. The present complex dates from the 16th century with more current restorations and expansions.

At the base of the long stairway leading up to the temple are these prominent serpent figures. They are called "nagas," considered to have been protectors of the Buddha, & are found usually in some form in all temples in Thailand - an obviously great place for photos.

306 naga stair steps lead up to the temple. We took the easy way up & took the less colorful funicular up - but we did walk down. Many foreign tourists are noticeable here, but very few from the US.

Reaching the top of the stairs this entry way led to the peripheral buildings around the circumference of the main temple grounds. Keith liked the critters guarding the top of the steps.

This Vihara or hall in honor of King Kuena  was singularly attractive in its extensive use of wood in the old Thia style.

The interior of this small hall shines with a glow only teak can give.  The simple elegance bespeaks the respect the people hold for this king.

Peg stands at the view point overlooking Chiang Mai city.  This is a popular photo location for locals & visitors alike.

Keith's turn. The clouds & haze detracted only slightly from this impressive view

Often there are bells for ringing which brings -- (what else) -- good luck. These kids enjoyed this task.

The Temple Hall was most ornate & attractive, prompting Keith to beg Peg for another pose.

The famous white elephant tribute to the legendary bearer of the holy relics during the reign of King Kuena.

This temple is much loved by the people and popular for tourists as well.  Keith stands beside the stupa or chedi at the center of the temple grounds

Peg, always interested in the cloister murals finds the condition of this one interesting.

The famous golden chedi of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, 79 feet high and 39 feet across at its base, is covered with engraved golden plates.

Cloister walls, this time punctuated with golden Buddha statues.

In the cooling shade of the cloister with bells tinkling in the breeze one can get a view of the peace of the place. 

Yet another view of the golden chedi spire with one of the 4 golden umbrellas showing in the foreground.

And this version of the weekly Buddha images -- everybody has their very own this way depending on your day of birth.

People gather to offer their gratitude, pay their respect & express their faith.

The removal of shoes to show reverence leads to some interesting pictures. Keith always wonders if some folks slip in to the wrong shoes.

As we prepare to leave the temple grounds, Keith gets this one last photo of devout pilgrims paying homage to holy monks who reached enlightenment.

Down the steps & on the exit path leading to the gift & food shops, Keith gets Peg to pause between these flowering shrubs. 

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