Chai Phra Kiat Buddha image cast 1566
Wat Chai Phra Kiat located near the center of the old walled town of Chiang Mai is a small temple comprising of a viharn, an ubosot and a chedi. Its name translates to “temple of the renowned victory”.
Lanna style viharn
The Wat Chai Phra Kiat’s largest building is the viharn, a Lanna style structure with a two tiered roof. The front gable is adorned with golden Lanna style flower motifs on a light blue background. At the bottom of the stairway leading to the viharn’s entrance is a pair of white and gold Chinthe, Burmese style lions that guard the hall.
Two rows of red lacquered columns support the roof. The walls are adorned with mural paintings including one of Phra Mae Thorani drowning Mara’s armies by wringing water out of her long hair and one depicting scenes of Buddhist Hell.
Enshrined in a very ornately decorated niche is the temple’s principal Buddha image, a large bronze statue in Lanna style named Chai Phra Kiat. The image in subduing Mara posture was cast in 1566 during the Burmese occupation of Chiang Mai. The inscription on the base of the image was made by the Burmese commander who ordered the image cast. It tells about the history of the Chai Phra Kiat image in Thai, Mon and Burmese language.
Between the viharn and the ubosot stands the temple’s chedi. The white Burmese style chedi sits on a base of several square tiers with indented corners and a section of several receding octagonal tiers. The structure is topped with a golden bell, a spire and a seven tiered hti.
Next to the chedi stands a small Lanna style ubosot, the hall where novices get ordained into monkhood. Its front gable is adorned with flower motifs on a green background. A pair of ferocious looking multi colored mythological Naga serpents guards the stairways to the ubosot’s entrance. The red entrance door is adorned with golden flower motifs and Devine beings. Over the entrance is a pair of intertwined Naga serpents. Inside the simple interior is a Buddha image in subduing Mara posture seated on a pedestal.
How to get to Wat Chai Phra Kiat
The temple is located on Thanon Ratchadamnoen, a few hundred meters East of the Wat Phra Singh in the center of the old walled town of Chiang Mai.
Admission & opening hours
The temple opens daily during daylight hours. Admission is free.