Photographer's Note

There are over 120 wats or temples within the municipal limits of the city of Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai wats typically have three common structures, the viharn, or main meeting hall, the ubosot, a small, consecrated meeting hall for monks, and the chedi, a ceremonial stupa, in the shape of a rounded or faceted-sided pyramid. These structures may be gilded, adorned with glass mosaics and lacquer, and faced with teak, and beaten silver or aluminum.

Wat Phan Tao, also written Wat Pantao, is a Buddhist temple in the heart of the old city. The name Wat Phan Tao means "Monastery of a Thousand Kilns". The name is believed to refer to the casting of the numerous Buddha images for its even bigger neighbour, Wat Chedi Luang, located right next door.

Wat Phan Tao has a beautiful viharn (main prayer hall), a majestic structure that is today one of the few remaining all-wood buildings in Chiang Mai . The viharn was originally the ho kham which means the palace (or literally, the "gilded hall") of Chiang Mai's king, Chao Mahawong, who ruled from 1846 to 1854. This magnificent building was reassembled here and today functions as a monastery.

Note over the central pelmet, a magnificent gilded panel featuring a peacock straddling a curled-up dog. The dog is featured here because it happens to be the zodiacal animal representing the year that Chao Mahawong was born.

Exif data shows India time.
Time this picture was taken in Chiang Mai: 09:33

The sky we got in Chiang Mai & in entire North Thailand, even in the mornings, was in dull shades of grey or blue....not the most ideal for photography. This is due to the haze which envelops the entire region (North Thailand right upto Myanmar & Laos) due to slash burning done by farmers. The smoke emanating out of burning the residual crop stumps spreads out across kilometres creating a smoke & haze screen. This happens every year during March to mid May & I don't think any government will do anything or take any step to stop this practice.

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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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