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Wat Pan Tao Chiang Mai


Wat Pan Tao Chiang Mai


  • This temple complex is among the older Chiang Mai temples in the enclosed center of the town south of Ratchadamnoen road. The main gate is on Phra Pok Klao road. The temple complex is situated next to the renowned Wat Chedi Luang. The original structures were probably constructed by the close of the 14th century.
  • The meaning of Wat Phan Tao is “holy place of one thousand ovens”. Possibly the temple originates its name from the kilns used for moulding of Buddha figures for a different temple, the Wat Chedi Luang which is very near to the Wat Phan Tao.
  • Originally the Wat Phan Tao’s viharn was a throne hall for a Chiang Mai’s King, constructed in 1846. Most probably the Palace Hall was demolished in order to make room for a new Palace building following ascendance to the throne of a new King. In 1876, the viharn of the Wat Phan Tao temple complex was built using the old structure’s wooden panels.

The teak wood viharn

  • The viharn was built as an all wooden structure from panels made of teak and fixed on a stone base. In Chiang Mai it’s among the few remaining all wooden buildings of its type. It contains a 3 tiered ceiling having golden roof finials.
  • The front portion of the viharn is mainly attractive. The gold-plated pelmet above the gate display intricately engraved Lanna flower designs. There is a gold-plated figure of a peacock above a crouching dog on the pelmet. Naga snakes as well as other mythical figures are also portrayed. Both the peacock and the pelmet figures are inlaid and gilded with exciting mosaic glass. The dog symbolizes the Zodiac symbol of the Chiang Mai King who used the building like a Palace.
  • Big red coloured teak columns inside the viharn support the building. Woven banners hang from the roof. The main Buddha figure of the Wat Phan Tao temple complex is a big golden sitting Buddha in front of the gate. The inner part of the viharn has a number of exciting items. Among them are many ancient wooden boxes ornamented with gold leaf having old Dhamma texts. These are the sacred Buddhist scriptures on palm leaves. An elaborately engraved wooden Ku, a Buddha throne which was used to preserve important Buddha figures is on the left hand side.



Wat Pan Tao Chiang Mai