Wat Chiang Mun
Wat Chiang Mun
Chiang Mun Temple is the first temple in city wall area which was mentioned in the legend that Phya Mung Rai of Chiang Mai, Phya Ruang of Sukhotai and Phya Ngum Muang of Phayao had built Chiang Mai in 1839 B.E. Also they required to construct the pagodas so Phya Mung Rai instructed to build one in his residence and named it as Chiang Mun. Until King Tilokaraj era, Chiang Mun pagoda collapsed therefore he ordered to reconstruct in 2014 B.E.
In 2094 B.E., Chiang Mui had been colonized by Burma (Myanmar) which made Chiang Mun Temple abandoned. In 2101 B.E. Prince Mung Tra of Burma had an instruction to Phya San Luang to renovate this temple, having Mahahintatijawangsa as an abbot at this time, and build pagodas, temples, chapels, Dhammasenasana (Dweller for monks), wall as well as arched entrances.
Chiang Mun Temple History
In Chiang Mai local legend and Yonok annals, after Chiang Mai had been built by 3 kings; Phya Mung Rai, Phya Ruang and Phya Ngum Muang. They also had an requirement to construct a pagoda in Phya Mung Rai temporary residence area during constructing the city and named it as Wiang Lek (means the constancy of the city). After construction, Phya Mung Rai moved to Wiang Keaw Royal Palace and contributed Wiang Lek to be the first royal temple which named as Chiang Mun Temple.
Accordingly Chiang Mun Temple which was established in 1839 B.E. and renovated by using laterites in Tilokaraj monarch who was the tenth king of Mung Rai Dynasty is the first royal temple in the city wall area.
Then around 2094 B.E., Chiang Mai was colonized making Chiang Mun Temple abandoned. In 2101 B.E., Prince Mung Tra or King Dhammika Rajadhiraj had King San Luang built pagodas, chapels, temples, scripture hall, hammasenasana, wall as well as arched entrances in Chiang Mun Temple which , at that time, had Mahahintatijjawangsa as an abbot.
In the era of King Kawila (2324-2358 B.E.), Chiang Mun Temple was renovated once again after being deserted during independence war with Burma around 2319 B.E. Successively, King Intawaroros era, Dhammayut buddhism was entirely propagated in Lanna. So he decided to welcome Dhammayut minks to stay and the moved to Dhamma Hall, and then Luang pagoda.
Chaturamuk Temple is the first royal temple in Chiang Mai which was the Phya Mung Rai’s desire and also place Setangkhamanee buddha as well as The Buddha Subduing The Elephant Nalagiri in this temple. Moreover, this temple shape is different from the others because of its square building along with the 16 elephant sculptures surrounding the square temple.
Chiang Mun Temple is the most ancient temple in Chiang Mai. It was built in Phya Mung Rai monarch. Then, he contributed Chiang Mun palce as Chiang Mun royal temple and constructed elephant pagodas surrounding the temple. In Chiang Mun Temple includes 2 temples, big and small ones. The big one was built in present time and decorated delicately with gold painting which mainly about constructing the city, Wiang Kum Kam and Chiang Mai, and temples in Phya Mung Rai era. Another one which is Chaturamuk Temple is the old temple. In the temple has the Buddhas which are important to Chiang Mai are Setangkhamanee or Kaew Khao Buddha and The Buddha Subduing The Elephant Nalagiri. Especially, Setangkhamanee Buddha is personal buddha to Chammathewi of Haripunchai and received the respect from Chiang Mai people. Besides, Chiang Mun stone inscription recorded the story of this temple since beginning is placed in this temple.
The Interesting Elements in Chiang Mun Temple
Luang Pagoda located in the south next to Lanna architecture scripture hall. In front of it, 76th stone inscription made in 2124 B.E. This temple was built together with other temples and scripture hall. Furthermore, Department of Fine Art have registered the pagodas, temples and scripture hall already.
Chang Lom Pagoda was built with Lanna architecture and elephant sculpture surrounding basement. The construction occurred after Phya Mung Rai established Chiang Mun Temple. The Department of Fine Art have registered this temple as historic site in 2478 B.E.
Kaew Khao Buddha or Setangkahmanee Buddha is sacred believing that this buddha can prevent the faithful from any dangers.
Chiang Mun Stone Inscription is priceless historical evidence located in the front of the temple. This inscription records 3 king names; Phya Mung Rai, Phya Ruang and Phya Ngum Muang as well as their work in Chiang Mai.
Kruba Sri Wichai Hall at Chiang Mun Temple was built in 2503 B.E. with Lanna architecture. This place is for placing statue of Kruba Sri Wichai, saint of Lanna.