PhotoBlog

Wat Chedi Luang

Wat Chedi Luang is a Buddhist temple in the historic center of Chiang Mai, Thailand. It was built in the late 14th century and was originally around 90 meters (295 feet) high before it was partly destroyed in an earthquake in 1545. Even in its damaged state, it remained the tallest structure in Chiang Mai for over 500 years. 

The chedi was restored by Unesco and the Japanese government in the 1990s, however, the restorers stopped short of finishing the spire, as apparently nobody could agree what the original design looked like. The result is this somewhat awkward shaped spire that I find very interesting.

From this angle, you can just make out the black jade Buddha sitting in the upper niche. It is a copy of the Emerald Buddha in Bangkok and was placed here in 1995 to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the chedi.

I visited this temple in the late afternoon and waited until several spotlights illuminated the chedi in the early evening. During this time, with the golden lights and the darkening sky, I think the temple looks even more majestic. Fortunately the sky also cooperated with some great color as the sun disappeared.