Aesthically, this would have to be my most favourite wat yet. On the entrance and some surrounding buildings, white decorations made from fired clay (?) overlay the rusty brown bricks, reminding me of an iced ginger bread house or lacy wedding cake.
|One of two yaksha demon warrior statues standing guard.|
The resident plaque states - "Wat Lok Molee, Amphoe Muang. An old and significat site, there is no record of the temple's founding date, but its name first appeared in historical texts in 1367. The sixth Lanna King of the Mengrai Dynasty invited a group of 10 monks from Burma to bring their study and practice of Buddhism to his Kingdom (present day Northern Thailand). The monks stayed at this temple. Phra Kaew Maung ordered a chedi built in 1527 and the main hall built in 1545. The temple houses the ashes of the members of the Royal Mengrai Dynasty and was maintained by the royal family until the end of the dynasty."
On either side of the pathway, leading to the wat doorway, stand life size white elephant statues, followed by gold and silver leafed trees.
On each leaf is one of the twelve signs of the Chinese zodiac. I'm a tiger, he's an ox.
More clay sculpted signs of the zodiac on the lawn with the chedi standing in the background.
The chedi below, houses the ashes of King Phra Muang Ket Klao, who after being overthrown by his own son and then reinstated, was assassinated
executed because he suffered from a mental illness a couple of years later in 1545.
Also in the chedi are the ashes of Queen Wisuthidhevee (or Visuddhadevi), who ruled after him until her death in 1578, says one of the plaques...but the history books aren't conistant on this point. Some say she didn't get to sit in the throne until 1564, another states Chiraprapa, the fore mentioned not quite the full quid King's daughter, ruled after his offing, before abdicating only one year later.
There is also a theory that Wisuthidhevee and Chiraprapa, were one in the same and that she was infact the daughter of the Loatian King Jayajettha. Anyhoo....the Kingdom of Lanna pretty much fell to pieces around this time, which was when the Burmese invaded, and stayed on, for more than two centuries.
...so it's all as clear as mud to me. If only microfiching had been around back in those days.
Today visitors are able to write their dreams, prayers and/or well wishes (?) on a giant orange ribbon, which is then continually wrapped around the chedi as it grows in length.
Some amazing timber sculptures can be found in the temple grounds, like this giant elepahant relief.
Next door to the wat (east, across the lane way, from the chedi), if you're lucky you might be able to catch the artists hard at work.
Next stop...Wat Mornthean!
Snap's other blog Chiang Mai Thai