Chiang Mai Hotels

Wat Phra Singh

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Wat Phra Singh (full name: Wat Phra Singh Woramahaviharn; Thai: วัดพระสิงห์วรมหาวิหาร; rtgs: Wat Phra Sing Wora Maha Wihan; (pronunciation); Lanna: LN-Wat Phrasing Woravihar.png) is a Buddhist temple (Thai language: Wat) in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. King Ananda Mahidol (Rama VIII), the older brother of the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej (Rama IX), bestowed on it the status of Royal temple of the first grade in 1935.

Wat Phra Singh is located in the western part of the old city centre of Chiang Mai, which is contained within the city walls and moat. The main entrance is guarded by Singhs (lions). Wat Pra Singh is situated at the end of the main street (Rachadamnoen road) of Chiang Mai. The road runs east from the temple, via Tapae Gate, to the Ping River.

Phra Singh is an abbreviated form of Phra-Put-Tha-Shi-Hing and does not refer to the word Singh (“lion”).

Construction on Wat Phra Singh began in 1345 when King Phayu, 226–227 the fifth king of the Mangrai dynasty, had a chedi built to house the ashes of his father King Kham Fu. A wihan and several other buildings were added a few years later and the resulting complex was named Wat Lichiang Phra. When, in 1367, the statue of Phra Buddha Singh was brought to the temple, the temple complex received its present name. During restoration works in 1925, three funerary urns were discovered inside a small chedi. It was assumed that these contained royal ashes. The urns have since been lost. From 1578 to 1774 the Burmese ruled Lanna and in this period the temple was abandoned and came under serious disrepair. It was only when King Kawila assumed the throne as King of Chiang Mai in 1782, that the temple was restored. King Kawila had the ubosot built and the chedi enlarged. Later successors restored the Wihan Lai Kham and the elegant Ho Trai (temple library).
The whole temple complex underwent extensive renovations under the famous monk Khru Ba Srivichai during the 1920s. Many of the buildings were again restored in 2002.

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