Phrathat Doi Kham Temple is a place for worship, faith and believe of Thai of people.
Phrathat Doi Kham temple often referred to as Wat Doi Kham or the Golden temple is located at the top of a hill to the south west of the city.
Thai people like to go to this temple and grant for the wishes, then provide jasmine to the sacred Buddha.
Phrathat Doi Kham Temple is actually older than the city of Chiang Mai. It was established in the 7th century by the sons of Queen Chamadevi of the Haripunchai Kingdom, who had her capital in the nearby city of Lamphun. The Haripunchai Kingdom was a populated by the Mon people, who were the first to bring Buddhism to Northern Thailand.
All around the temple, you can see various images and shrines dedicated to Queen Chamadevi and other important figures in her life story, such as her two sons and the Ruesi, or ascetic hermit, who is said to have adopted the queen as a child. According to legend, the hermit found the young princess sitting on a giant lotus flower. He raised her, and she married one of the princes of the Mon capital city Lopburi in Central Thailand. The king then sent her up north on a mission to establish a new city and sister kingdom for the Mon people.
In the temple you can find the Buddha image of the success. Named "Luang Por Tun Jai". Because of this image, most believing Buddhists come to the temple. They want something from the image of success. If the desire is eventually fulfilled, the faithful return to show their gratitude.
The chedi, or temple pagoda, is not very large, but it’s covered in gold and said to contain a hair of the Buddha, which is why the temple’s name includes the word phrathat, which means “holy relic”. According to a local legend, the mountain was once inhabited by a pair of giant cannibals who terrorized the local population (were they yetis?). The Buddha then paid a visit to the giants and converted them to his doctrine. He left one of his hairs with them, which they then paid reverence to daily. And it is this hair that is enshrined in the chedi.
The courtyard contains large numbers of bells and very large gongs that visitors can strike. Several large warriors armed with swords similar to those at the Grand Palace in Bangkok and white lion figures or Singha guard the grounds. The viharn contains beautifully carved window panels, its roof is decorated with Naga bargeboards.
When you get up to the temple parking area, the first thing you’ll notice is the gigantic seated Buddha statue which you can see from the foot hill was called ” Phra Buddha Napeesripingkaratana”. At 17 meters tall, it’s the largest seated Buddha in Chiang Mai.
The temple courtyard has many small shrines to various figures, which really gives it the feeling of a pilgrimage spot. Besides figures connected to the history of the temple (including the cannibalistic giants that were converted to Buddhism), you’ll also find shrines to Phra Mae Guan-im (Kwan-Yin Bodhisattva) and Phra In (the Hindu god Indra).
There is an interesting folktale about Lord Buddha visiting this temple and meeting a rakshasa (demon) family who tried to eat him. Lord Buddha conquered them by sending them his kindness, which they could not stand. The rakshasa family eventually converted, revering our Lord Buddha, and also gave up consuming human flesh.
The temple grounds include a large terrace that gives a vantage point out over fields and towards the city below. At the balcony see the nice view of Rachapruk Park and the town below. You can combine a trip to the temple with Royal Flora Rachapruk or Chiang Mai Night Safari.
How to get to Phrathat Doi Kham Temple
Wat Phrathat Doi Kham is located at the top of a hill to the south west of the Chiang Mai city in Mae Hia sub district almost 10 kilometers from the town center.
The temple has an entrance fee of 30 Baht for foreigners and make sure to cover your shoulders and knees otherwise you will be asked to rent a scarf to cover up in respect of the temple and monks.
Opening Hours: 08:00 – 17:00