Photographer's Note

Like a beacon projecting a calming blanket on the urban plains below, Wat Suthep is seen clearly from Chiang Mai, majestically perched atop Doi Suthep (1676m)’s. summit. It is one of north Thailand's most sacred temples, and Thai pilgrims flock here to make merit to the Buddhist relic enshrined in the picturesque golden chedi.

Incidentally, Suthep was named after the hermit Sudeva, who lived on the mountain's slopes for many years, and is the site of Chiang Mai's holy temple Wat Phra That Doi Suthep. Built as a Buddhist monastery in 1383 it is still a working monastery today.

On reaching the top we were greeted with the sight of the golden spire (can be seen in the BG) which decorates the centre of the mountain top temple. The walls around the spire form a mini enclave and are richly decorated with historical murals and shrines. Wonderful golden and emerald statues of Buddha adorn the ‘square’ around the golden spire. We just sat in awe at the diversity and sheer volume of Buddha statues, unlike anything we’d ever seen.

I photographed here, kneeling down, a statue of a prince ...Is it of Siddhartha, before he relinquished everything to attain nirvana, eventually becoming The Buddha or Prince (later King) Kawila of Lan Na, who besides being a valiant warrior contributing significantly in the expulsion of the Burmese from Lan Na, was a devout Buddhist? I do not know with surety...

The temple's famously photographed gold-plated chedi , topped by a five-tiered umbrella was erected in honour of the city's independence from Burma and its union with Thailand. It is the chedi (and the sacred Buddha relic enshrined inside) not a resident Buddha image that attracts the majority of worshippers.

The ISO 1600 was a mistake from my part..:-)

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7851 W: 324 N: 16060] (56760)
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