Wat Lok Moli – Where Ancient Charm Meets Tranquility
Wat Lok Moli Temple stands out as one of Chiang Mai’s most unique structures, featuring an unadorned large chedi and connections with Mengrai Dynasty history – making it an essential destination for history enthusiasts.
Attracting visitors are finely sculptured Nagas and an exquisite wooden temple facade, further adding to its aesthetic allure. Another distinguishing feature is its unorthodox orientation, which breaks with tradition by aligning along a north-south axis rather than towards the east.
The Grand Chedi
Wat Lok Moli stands out among Thailand temples with its grand chedi, one of its most striking structures. Its unadorned bricks stand in sharp contrast to stucco-clad versions found elsewhere, drawing visitors’ eyes. Atop this ancient spire stands an ubosot (ordination hall), as well as numerous other ancillary buildings – an open-air lecture area and numerous statues and carvings complete its attractive appearance.
Although dating back to the 14th century, the Ubosot was built in two phases. The initial construction took place in 1391 to house King Saen Muang Ma’s remains. Subsequently, during King Tilokarat’s rule it was expanded and eventually damaged during an earthquake which destroyed most of its upper section in 1545.
This temple holds a special place in Thais’ hearts. Here, several members of Mengrai Dynasty are laid to rest inside its round bell-style chedi, standing at an impressive 80 meter height.
Wat Lok Moli features an entrance gate flanked by two white elephants adorned with crowns – symbols of virtue, blessing and royalty in Thai culture – standing guard at its main gate. From here a staircase ascends towards its viharn where exquisite and highly detailed naga sculptures adorn this walkway leading to its viharn.
At the top of the stairs stands a massive, round bell-style chedi. Commissioned by Phra Kaew Muang, Lanna King, this structure houses his ashes as well as those of other Mengrai dynasty rulers; its unique form attracts visitors and locals alike.
Like at other Buddhist temples in Thailand, visitors should dress modestly when entering temple worship areas and remove shoes before entering. Furthermore, it’s wise to abide by any specific guidelines provided by each temple prior to engaging monks.
Donating isn’t required, but giving is an effective way of showing our appreciation for their advice and kindness – especially during peak tourist seasons when many monks become very friendly! Wat Lok Moli offers especially interesting dharma talks which should keep anyone intrigued!
The Assembly Hall
Visit Wat Lok Moli when in Chiang Mai; its stunning temple is one of the oldest and most impressive structures in town, boasting an awe-inspiring chedi that makes an impressionful statement about its worthiness. Please wear comfortable shoes and bring a bottle of water, as temperatures at the temple can become quite warm.
Wat Lok Moli Temple dates its construction back to 1367 when it first appeared in a charter document. At that time, Kuena, King of Mengrai Dynasty invited ten Buddhist monks from Burma to reside here and help promote his religion and teach at his temple in order to promote his teachings – these monks may have founded Wat Lok Moli.
In 1527, Ket (also known as Mueangketklao or Phra Kaew Muang), King of Lanna Kingdom commissioned construction of this temple’s grand chedi and assembly hall with funding provided by several members of Mengrai dynasty enshrined within it; additionally it’s decorated on all sides with images depicting mythological celestial beings; its brickwork remains nearly completely bare unlike most urban chedis which typically cover them completely with stucco.
Learn about Lanna-style architecture by visiting this temple. Its interior boasts an assortment of artwork that not only looks appealing, but is also educational, including depictions of Buddha’s previous lives, deities and apsaras; furthermore there are numerous depictions of important figures from its history including royal patrons and high-ranking clergy members.
Wat Lok Moli offers more than just temple visits; you’ll also discover beautiful natural spots nearby to discover! Hike Doi Suthep and hike the Monk’s Trail for breathtaking mountaintop views; swim in Angkaew Reservoir or admire Huay Kaew Waterfall to relax and unwind – it all adds up to an experience you won’t forget anytime soon. Wat Lok Moli makes for the ideal retreat!
Wat Lok Moli Garden offers an uplifting place of spiritual reflection and meditation. The grounds are decorated with statues of Buddha and other deities, set against lush greenery and pure white sand. Furthermore, its location at the foot of Mount Kanchanaburi provides it with a picturesque backdrop that adds further allure. Additionally, within its complex there is a viharn (or assembly hall), housing an exquisite large-scale Buddha statue sitting with her hands clasped together in Bhumisparsha mudra (the gesture of enlightenment), inviting reflection and deep thought.
On the premises is also an ubosot, or monk’s residence and associated structures. However, its ancient bricks stand in stark contrast to its grand chedi, which displays Lanna kingdom’s fine craftsmanship and artistic prowess. Furthermore, its temple’s sloping roof and intricate carvings demonstrate how Buddhism integrated with architectural styles during this time period.
Wat Lok Moli Temple was established during the 14th century during King Kuena (1355-1385), who was widely respected for his cultural contributions to Lanna kingdom as well as for instituting Buddhism as the state religion. Through his leadership, this temple became a center for Buddhist teachings and practices as well as serving as a meeting point for spiritual minds seeking cultural advancement.
Wat Lok Moli stands out for more than its rich history and beautiful architecture; it also contains many fascinating facts. For instance, its grand chedi holds several members of the royal family’s ashes, underscoring its reverence. Additionally, during Lanna era religious life at Wat Lok Moli included monks from across Southeast Asia flocking to its monastery for religious services and social life events – as did its ubosot or monastery which hosted them.
As with most Thai temples, visitors should display a respectful demeanor when visiting a complex. This includes keeping noise levels down, refraining from touching or climbing structures, showing proper reverence when approaching Buddha statues or sacred objects, dressing modestly (including covering shoulders and knees before entering worship areas), and not touching or climbing on them.
The Temple’s History
Wat Lok Moli, one of the city’s most captivating temples, embodies Chiang Mai’s Lanna Kingdom heritage and dates back to 14th-century. Ket (also known as Phra Kaew Muang), King of Mengrai Dynasty invited monks from Burma to live and spread Theravata Buddhism across northern Thailand. After building this large chedi pagoda later on his ashes were interred here as well.
From time to time, additional buildings were added to the temple over time – including its ubosot (ordination hall) and other ancillary structures – until it became a grand complex. Visitors are greeted by an imposing entrance gate in Lanna period style featuring intricate detailing and sloping roof. Beyond it lies an open-air lecture area located atop what remains of the base of ubosot.
The assembly hall, or viharn, of any temple forms an essential part of its architectural ensemble and showcases intricate wood carvings and gilded details characteristic of Lanna period craftsmanship and artistic sensibility. Within you’ll find an exquisite Buddha statue seated with their hand clasped together symbolising enlightenment; within which is also located an elegant Buddha statue that sits with their hand raised up as in a “bhumisparsha mudra”.
Another feature that distinguishes this temple is its striking sandstone pillars and carvings imported from Ayuthaya in Burma. Together with the unique blend of Buddhist and Khmer art seen at this location, these features make this structure stand out among others in the region.
Wat Lok Moli is an impressive example of Khmer and Buddhist art and architecture that influenced Lanna Kingdom, and well worth visiting both for religious or cultural reasons. No matter your reason for visiting – religious significance or immersion into another culture – Wat Lok Moli deserves your time! Please dress modestly when visiting any Buddhist temple – for women this can include wearing a light blouse/skirt that covers shoulders down to knees while men should consider covering up when entering sacred spaces such as sacred spaces with an appropriate scarf/shawl/ scarf/ scarf as an alternative.