History of Wat Chedi Luang in 60 Seconds 

Photo of Kelly Iverson
26 June 2017

Chiang Mai’s most noteworthy attraction is the Wat Chedi Luang temple, rather conveniently tucked between quaint accommodation options, eateries, and other temples. Read our brief history before venturing to this dazzling place of worship.

Wat Chedi Luang once housed the Emerald Buddha, one of the most revered religious relics in the entire country. It was moved to the Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Dawn) in Bangkok in 1475.

In 1995, however, King Bhumibol Adulyadej gifted Wat Chedi Luang a replica Buddha made of jade, to celebrate Chiang Mai’s 700th anniversary as a city.

That year also happened to be the 600th anniversary of the chedi—the domed structure at the centre of the temple complex. Its most noteworthy feature, the site is actually named after it.

The towering temple, completed in 1441, is one of the city’s tallest, and the religious structure reflects Lanna-style architecture throughout.

Today, locals and tourists mingle, the former visiting to pray, while foreigners flock to catch a glimpse of this ancient wonder.

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