Wat Chiang Man is Chiang Mai’s oldest temple and holds some important Buddhist images including a famous crystal Buddha. Construction on the temple started in 1306 although several parts were added in later centuries so the temple complex has lots of different styles of architecture side by side. There are two main meditation halls in Wat Chiang Man, both extensively decorated in gold and red with images of the Buddha. Inside the larger hall is Chiang Mai’s oldest Buddha image, a standing Buddha holding an alms bowl.
Close to the entrance of Wat Chiang Man is a raised throne containing two important Buddhas. The larger, standing Buddha is worshipped every April before the Songkran festival as it is said to bring the rain needed for rice growing. The smaller Buddha is carved from crystal and is also believed to have special healing powers. Despite being in the middle of Chiang Mai’s old city Wat Chiang Man is rarely busy. It has a nice, well-kept garden area to sit and reflect in.
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