|Another visit-worthy temple of Chiang Mai
When in Chiang Mai, the city of old culture and
sweet-mannered people, the sites where you can
linger all day to admire the city's magical charm
are temples dotting the city in abundance. Apart
from Wat Phra Sing which is a well-known beautiful
Buddhist temple where Phra Phuttha Sihing, a most
revered Buddha image of the north is enshrined,
Wat Lok Moli appears to be another interesting
and visit-worthy temple.
The exterior of Wat
The name of Wat Lok Moli was mentioned in
the Chronicle of the Lanna Kingdom when King
Chai Racha of Ayutthaya (1534-1546) marched
his troops to attack the Lanna Kingdom.
Wat Lok Moli is located near Chang Phuak Gate. Its
front is adjacent to the road around the city moat.
If you drive round the moat, you will notice its
delicate patterned arch and its teak Lanna-style
Wat Lok Moli is an ancient temple of Chiang Mai
but its establishing year is unknown. The name Wat
Lok Moli was found in the "Legend of Wat Phrathat
Doi Suthep". It mentioned that in A.D. 1367
King Kuena, the sixth Lanna King of the Mangrai
Dynasty who had a strong faith in Buddhism dispatched
his envoys to invite Phra Maha Thera, a revered
Buddhist monk of Martaban* to propagate Buddhism
in the Lanna Kingdom.
an ancient town believed to have been founded in
A.D. 573 by the first king of Pegu. At present it
is a small town in Thaton District of Lower Myanmar.
The Principal Buddha
image in the vihara
the monk was too old to travel. So, Phra Ananda
Thera and another ten monks were sent as delegates
to carry on this mission. When in the kingdom,
the monk group stayed at Wat Lok Moli. Later,
in 1527, King Ketklao transferred the area
of Ban Hua Wiang Village to be part of the
precinct of Wat Lok Moli. In 1528, he ordered
the grand pagoda and the vihara to be established.
When the king was assassinated in 1545, the
civil servants agreed to house his relics
in a pagoda at Wat Lok Moli.
After that, his daughter, Queen Chira Prapha succeeded
him. Some legends assume that she was actually the
Queen of King Ketklao, not his daughter. During
her reign, Chiang Mai became weak in military strength,
so, King Chai Racha of Ayutthaya led his army to
attack Chiang Mai. Thanks to the Queen's wits, Chiang
Mai maintained its sovereignty. Afterwards, the
queen officially invited King Chai Racha to make
merit at Wat Lok Moli. And the king gave the queen
an amount of money to renovate the pagoda housing
the relics of the late King Ketklao.
that, Chiang Mai had been Burma's vassal state
for about 200 years. During the Burmese rule,
many temples were burnt down except Wat Lok
Moli. This was because the Burmese king ruling
Chiang Mai at that time held Wat Lok Moli
as a prestigious temple.
This castle-style pagoda was constructed in 1528
in the reign of King Ketklao. It was later renovated
and modified several times, adding to the height
of the pagoda. Inside the pagoda are King Ketklao's
The vihara of Wat Lok Moli shows typical Lanna
architectural style with awesomely beautiful naga*
* a mythical serpent-like creature
• Special thanks to Tourism
Authority of Thailand (TAT) Northern Office Region
1 for arranging an impressive press tour to Chiang
Mai and to Mag Media Co.,Ltd and Forty-Five Organizer
& Media Co.,Ltd. for facilitating the photographing
and giving us useful information.
For taxi : วัดโลกโมฬี