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Wat Phra Kaeo Chiang Rai


Wat Phra Kaeo Chiang Rai


  • The Wat Phra Kaeo temple grounds are located in Trairat Road two blocks west from Wat Pra Singh in Chiang Rai City. The Viharn at Wat Phra Kaew is pictured here. It is small but elegant and set within the tropical vegetation of this northern City. It has been restored.
  • The image, Phra Jao Lan Thong, is one of the largest and most beautiful Buddha images in Thailand is presently housed in the Viharn. This Budda image is made of copper and brass and is undertsood to be 700 years old. The image was originally housed at Wat Phra Chao Lan Thong in Chiang Rai, but later moved to Wat Ngam Muang, and then to Wat Phra Kaew in 1961. The image is seated in the bhumisparsa mudra position.
  • On the South side of the Viharn is a Museum set inside a northern Lanna styled two storey modern building. The building itself is striking and worthy of a visit.
  • But more importantly to the rear of the Viharn is the Golden Chedi where the Emerald Buddha was encassed until 1434 when lightening struck to crack open the Chedi and reveal the Emerald Buddha in side. There is no recorded history of when it was enshrined here and what are its origins. Its style is not Tai Yuan or Lanna style.



Replica of Emerald Buddha In Wat Phra Khaeo Chiang Rai


  • The new replica image of the Emerald Buddha was carved in China from stone from Canada and was installed in an Ubosot behind the Viharn at Wat Phra Kaeo on 19 October 1991.
  • It is a replica of the original now housed at Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok which was taken from here to Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao in Lampang in 1436, later to be moved toWat Chedi Luang in Chiang mai in 1486, then to Luang Prabang in 1548, then again to Viang Chang in Laos to be housed at Wat Phra Khao there until the war of 1778 between Laos and Siam when it was taken as a prize of war back to Bangkok in 1778 where it was housed at Wat Arun and lastly to Wat Phra Kaeo in the Grounds of theGrand Palace Bangkok in 1784.
  • A very good account of the Origins and Significance of the Emerald Buddha in Thailand is in '' Explorations in Southeast Asian Studies '', a Journal of Southeast Asian Studies Student Association, Vol 3 1999, which for your convenience we reprint here for study purposes only.