Wat Chiang Man was built in 1297 CE as the first temple of Chiang Mai on the location of Wiang Nopburi, a fortified town of the Lawa people which had been used by King Mangrai as a camp during the construction of his new capital city Chiang Mai.
Chedi Chang Lom - the 'Elephant Chedi' is the oldest, The square base supports a second level which has the front half of 15 life-sized brick-and-stucco elephants. The elephants seem to carry the upper levels of the building on their backs. The gilded upper part of the chedi contains a bell shaped relic chamber.
Main Wihan - the larger of the two wihans. The building houses a large mondop structure for an altar surrounded by Buddha statues. One of the standing Buddha's has the year 1465 CE engraved on its base, which would make it the oldest statue of the Lanna Kingdom.
New Wihan - the smaller of the two wihans houses two important statues of the Buddha which, due to their protective powers, are regarded as the Palladium statues of Chiang Mai:
The Phra Sae Tang Khamani is also known as the 'Phra Kaew Khao' or 'Crystal Buddha'. This 10 cm tall statue is carved out of a clear quartz crystal. The statue was crafted around 200 CE for King Ramraj of Lopburi and brought to the Hariphunchai Kingdom (present day Lamphun) by Queen Jamadevi in 662 CE. It was only transferred to Chiang Mai by King Mangrai in 1296 after he had conquered Lamphun. As it survived the pillaging of that city, the statue is thought to protect against disasters. The gold covered wooden base and golden canopy are later additions donated by King Inthawichayanon of Chiang Mai in 1874. Together they contain more than 6 kg of gold.
The Phra Sila statue a standing Buddha whilst taming the elephant 'Nalagiri' .
Ubosot - in front of the ubosot one can find a stone stele from the year 1581 CE. It also mentions that the ubosot was commissioned by King Mangrai and that Phya Saen Luang had it restored in 1571. The present building was built in the 19th century.
Ho Trai - the Temple Library of Wat Chiang Man It is a wooden building set on top of a high plastered brick base.
The oldest structure in Wat Chiang Mun, built in 1295, is the Chang Lom chedi, which is in a style that could have originated from Sri Lanka via Sukhothai, or from Pagan. Fifteen elephants represent a sea of unformed matter upon which the cosmos of the chedi floats.
Located inside the moat in the northeast corner of the old city, this is the oldest wat in Chiang Mai. Built in 1296 by King Mangrai, it originally served at the camp King Mangrai used when he supervised the building of Chiang Mai.
The bot boasts classical Thai features, including huge ornately decorated teak columns supporting the roof. Although it contains an impressive Buddha image, the true 'prizes' of this wat, two glass-enclosed Buddha statues, are stored inside the smaller wihaan to the right. The larger of the two, Phra Sila, or Stone Buddha, is a stone bas relief imported from either India or Sri Lanka some 2,500 years ago. Its smaller counterpart, Phra Sae Tang Kamani, or Crystal Buddha, stands at a height of just 10cm and is thought to originate from Lopburi around 1,800 years ago.
The standing Buddha image (front right of the altar in the larger viahrn) has an inscription on its square base that dates it to 1465. This makes it the oldest dated Buddha image to be found so far in Chiang Mai.
Also in the Old City is Wat Chiang Man...................
THE OLDEST TEMPLE IN CHIANG MAI.
History is that it was built in 1297, at the site of the camp King Mengrai used when he supervised the building and planning his new capital, Chiang Mai.
The oldest structure is the Chang Lom chedi which has fifteen elephants. It is behind the main Prayer Hall, and I don't think you could miss it.
Other points of interest to see here are............
The two images housed in the Viharn to the right of the main prayer hall.
One image is a marble Buddha (2,000 years +)
the second image is a crystal Buddha (1800years +), both really old.
The Marble Buddha image is believed to have power to bring rain.....
The Crystal Buddha image is believed it has powers to protect against disaster.
OPEN 9 - 5PM
The ubosot is usually closed to the public, but on one side of the porch you can see a stone tablet, recounting the founding of Chiang Mai by King Mengrai in the thirteenth century, and is one of the oldest known records that establishes the founding date of Chiang Mai.
Well worth having a look at this Temple complex as there are a lot of interesting buildings, with nice architecture and history here.
This is thought to be the oldest wat in the city. It features typical northern Thai architecture, with massive teak columns inside the central sanctuary.
Two important buddhas are in a glass cabinet inside the smaller sanctuary. One of them is only 10cm high. It is a crystal seated buddha which was moved back and forth between Thailand and Laos a very long time ago.
Considered as the oldest temple in Chiang Mai, Wat Chiang Man was built by King Mengrai 700 years ago.
The most notable thing that I can remember is the finely decorated buildings in vivid red with gold leaf and colored glasses housing the sacred Buddha images. The stair banisters have naga dragons at each side.
Behind the main ubosot is a chedi with a base lined elephants.
Wat Chiang Mai is the oldest temple in this area. It is believe King Mengrai live here while the new city of Chiang Mai was constructed.
This temple houses two very important and venerated Buddha images - Phra Sila (a marble Buddha) and Phra Satang Man (a crystal Buddha).
There is a tiny crystal Buddha called Phra She-taang Kamanee which is believe to have the power to bring rain.
This temple is even older than Wat Phra Singh. It has been built in 1292.
On the place before the (quite big) temple are standing small white Pagodas. In them are the ashes of the family of the King.
There used to be a crematorium here also, but no more.
Buddhists in Thailand are being cremated after their death.
The Chedi is atthe moment (Feb 2005) under renovation.
It is interesting to see the bamboo the structure is made of.
In the inside of the temple are many statues of Buddha. They also come from different times. Our guide mentioned that one could see from the "hat" the Buddha is wearing (pointed like a flame or like a lotus) and how he looks (smiling or not so much) whether the statue was made in a war year or a peace year.
This is the oldest wat in Chiang Mai. King Mengrai supposedly lived in this temple, while the city of Chiang Mai was being built.
The highlight of the complex is the chedi surrounded by stone elephant heads.
Chiang Mai's oldest temple, which probably dates to 1296. The temple was the residence of King Mengrai, who founded Chiang Mai. The most prominent features of this temple are the large gold-topped chedi supported by rows of elephant buttresses (see photo), and a small ancient Buddha image, Phra Kaeo Khao.
Wat Chiang Man is the first temple built in Chiang Mai and it was also the residence of King Mengrai, the founder of Chiang Mai, soit's a royal wat. The buildng has a really nice rickly ornated veranda , bit it's the inside that is most captivating: there are red and gold pillars and wonderful and strange frescos telling the story of the buddha. While in other temples the frescos just serve to tell a story, these ones are a real work of art, and can easily be compared, in terms of artisitc value, to the ones in the Grand Palace in Bangkok