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Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan วัดพระธาตุหริภุญชัยวรมหาวิหาร , Lamphun

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Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandWat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, Thailand (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan (GPS: 18.57731, 99.0079; Thai: วัดพระธาตุหริภุญชัยวรมหาวิหาร ) is the largest and most important wat in Lamphun, Thailand. It is regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in northern Thailand, for it enshrines a sacred Buddha relic - a strand of Buddha's hair that King Adityaraja discovered in an urn buried in the garden of his palace. The discovery took place shortly after his accession around 1150. Nevertheless, the majority of the buildings at Wat Phra That Haripunchai dates from no earlier than the 15th century.

Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan occupies a large area in the heart of town. Due to the area it covers, it can be entered from various entrances on the east, west and south sides. Only the north side has no entrance passage. The sprawling complex is in two layers, with the outer enclosure surrounding the putthawat or sacred enclosure.

The main building is the Viharn Luang (main assembly hall). The present one was built in 1925 after the older one collapsed in an earthquake ten years before. The principal statue here is the large bronze Buddha, called Phra Chao Thong Thip Buddha. According to Jean Boisselier of the École française d'Extrême-Orientm in terms of its attire and attitude, thhe statues in its original form reflects the Pala-Sena tradition derived from the Dvaravati school. However, excessive restoration has unfortunately defaced it.1

One of the most exquisite buildings in the Wat Phra That Haripunchai complex is its ho trai or scripture chamber. Located to the left of the Vihard Luang, it was built in the 19th century, and restored in the 1920s. The same as the ho trai at Chiang Mai's Wat Phra Singh, it is an elegant wooden structure sitting on a high masonry base. The ho trai double-tier triple roof, with bargeboards curled up as nagas at the end.

Between the ho trai and the southern enclosure wall of the putthawat is a well with the statue of a kneeling elephant. On the opposite site of the Viharn Luang is the gong pavilion. This two-storey pavilion has a gigantic gong that was cast in 1860 at Wat Phra Singh, and is said to be one of the largest gongs in the world, second only to the gong at the Mahamuni Pagoda in Mandalay.

Behind the Viharn Luang is the spectacular Phra Maha That Chedi, a huge stupa with a height of 46 meters. It started as a reliquary just four meters tall. In the 13th century, an earlier chedi, twice the height of the reliquary, was built to encase it. Then in 1448, this present chedi was erected by King Tilokaraj to encase the earlier one. It is finished with the installation of the four chats (parasols) at each of its corners, and a nine-tier chat - with 68 kilograms of gold in it - was placed on its summit, by Chao Kawila at the beginning of the 19th century. The chedi has a gilded fencing, with small chapels each in the middle of each side.

Another interested structure at Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan is Suwanna Chedi, a 46-meter chedi which was built in 1418. This slim chedi is nothing like most of the Thai Buddhist chedi. It rises from a square base with diminishing square tiers on which are niches with reliefs of standing Buddha images.

Yet another chedi at Wat Phra That Haripunchai is Chedi Chiang Yan. This chedi also has a square base, with a niche on each of its sides. It culminates with a main spire, surrounding which are smaller spires at each of its corners. To some extend, this chedi is similar to the one at Wat Mahathat in Sukhothai.

Apart from the various chedis, there is also a shrine called Viharn Saenkachai. Inside this shrine is the statue of Saenkachai, an impish figure said to be a scholar and disciple of the Buddha. This statue is said to impart good luck.

Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandOne of the entrance gatehouse of Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan. (26 October, 2006)


Viharn Saenkachai, Wat Phra That HaripunchaiViharn Saenkachai, Wat Phra That Haripunchai (26 October, 2006)


Saenkachai, Wat Phra That HaripunchaiThis is Saenkachai, a gilded statue whose image is believed by devotees to impart good luck. It occupies Viharn Saenkachai, just outside the inner enclosure of Wat Phra That Haripunchai (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandA reclining Buddha at Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandDrinking water vessels at Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandWat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan's Gong Pavilion. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandThe bell tower at the Gong Pavilion of Wat Phra That Haripunchai. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandGuardian lions in front of the entrance to Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan's Viharn Luang. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandClose view of the guardian lions. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandThe Viharn Luang, or principal assembly hall, of Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandInterior of the Viharn Luang. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandInterior of Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan. Unfortunately, the principal Buddha staute, the Phra Chao Thong Thip Buddha, was under restoration. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandThe ceiling of the portico of Viharn Luang. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandView of the grounds of Wat Phra Tat Haripunchai Woramahawihan from the Viharn Luang. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandMoney offerings at Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandClose up of the money offering. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandViharn Luang of Wat Phra Tat Haripunchai Woramahawihan. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandView of Phra Maha That Chedi, with the Viharn Luang on the right. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandThe ho trai or scripture house of Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandPhra Maha That Chedi, with view of one of its chat or parasol. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandOne of the four miniature chapels at the sides of the Phra Maha That Chedi. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandChapel beside the Phra Maha That Chedi. (26 October, 2006)


Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan, Lamphun, ThailandThe chat or golden parasol, with Viharn Luang in the background. (26 October, 2006)


Suwanna Chedi, Wat Phra That HaripunchaiSuwanna Chedi, Wat Phra That Haripunchai (24 October, 2006)


Suwanna Chedi, Wat Phra That HaripunchaiSuwanna Chedi, Wat Phra That Haripunchai (24 October, 2006)


Suwanna Chedi, Wat Phra That HaripunchaiSuwanna Chedi, Wat Phra That Haripunchai (24 October, 2006)


Ku Chang Nam, Wat Phra That HaripunchaiThis is Ku Chang Nam, a chedi of red stone built to resemble Mount Meru. (26 October, 2006)


Chedi Chiang Yan, Wat Phra That HaripunchaiChedi Chiang Yan, Wat Phra That Haripunchai (26 October, 2006)

Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan on Google Maps Street View

Pedestrian entrance to Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan from Route 106, on the west side. (Nov 2017)

Entrance to Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan from Thanon Rop Mueang Nai, on the east side. (Nov 2017)

One of the two entrance to Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan from Chai Mongkol Road, on the south side. (Nov 2017)

Wat Phra That Haripunchai Woramahawihan is on the map of Lamphun

References

  1. LANNA - Thailand's Northern Kingdom by Michael Freeman, page 112

List of Wats in Lamphun and Wats in Thailand

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