The Wat Prasat in Chiang Mai was probably founded towards the end of the 16th century. It is an attractive temple complex, located in the old walled part of the city opposite the Wat Phra Singh.
The Wat Prasat temple contains an ubosot (ordination hall), a viharn (prayer hall) and two chedis (pagodas). The ubosot, viharn and one chedi are constructed in a straight line.
The Lanna style viharn
The classic Lanna style viharn that was built in 1823 is a wooden structure, set on a stone base. It has a steep three tiered roof with chofahs decorating the top ends. The panels on the entrance as well as the pillars are intricately decorated with carved flower motifs in Lanna style.
The stairs leading to the entrance of the viharn contain large Nagas (mythological snakes) guarding the building.
Tunnel connecting the viharn to the chedi
A unique feature of this temple is the short tunnel that connects the viharn to the chedi behind it. Usually the viharns principal Buddha image is found towards the back of the wall opposite the entrance.
At the Wat Prasat the center of the back wall contains an ornately decorated entrance to a short tunnel that leads to the chedi directly behind it. The sitting Buddha image that can partly be seen from the viharn is actually inside the chedi.
On either side of the tunnel entrance a number of Buddha images are seated on pedestals about 1 meter high. One of the images is a bronze dating back to 1590, the others are stucco and of a more recent date. Part of the viharns walls are decorated with murals from the early 19th century.
Other structures of the Wat Prasat
Behind the viharn is the Wat’s ubosot, which is a more recent reconstruction of the original one. Behind the ubosot is an original, large white chedi with a golden spire. The temple grounds also contain a large bell tower and a small spirit house, guarded on both sides of the stairs by large mythological Naga serpents.
How to get to the Wat Prasat
The temple complex is located on Intawarorot road in the Western part of the old walled part of the city directly opposite the Wat Phra Singh temple.
Within the old city you can easily get there by tuk-tuk (negotiate a price before leaving) or by rented bicycle.
Entrance fee & opening hours
The Wat Prasat opens daily from 6 am until 5 pm. Admission to the grounds is free.