Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep

50200 Suthep Chiang Mai, Thailand
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep on the interactive online map
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep is classified in the following categorie(s): Temple  Sightseeing 
Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep (Thai: วัดพระธาตุดอยสุเทพ) is a Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. The temple is often referred to as "Doi Suthep" although this is actually the name of the mountain it is located on. The temple is located 15 km from the city of Chiang Mai and is a sacred site to many Thai people. From the temple impressive views of Chiang Mai can be seen and it remains a popular destination of foreign visitors.

White Elephant Legend

According to legend, a monk named Sumanathera from Sukhothai had a dream; in this dream god told him to go to Pang Cha and look for a relic. Sumanathera ventured to Pang Cha and is said to have found a bone, which many claim was Buddha's shoulder bone. The relic displayed magical powers; it glowed, it was able to vanish, it could move itself and replicate itself. Sumanathera took the relic to King Dharmmaraja who ruled the Sukhothai.

The eager Dharmmaraja made offerings and hosted a ceremony when Sumanathera arrived. However the relic displayed no abnormal characteristics, and the king, doubtful of the relic's authenticity, told Sumanathera to keep it.

However, King Nu Naone of the Lanna Kingdom heard of the relic and offered the monk to take it to him instead. In 1368 with Dharmmaraja's permission, Sumanathera took the relic to what is now Lamphun, in northern Thailand. The relic apparently split in two, one piece was the same size, the other was smaller than the original. The smaller piece of the relic was enshrined at a temple in Suandok. The other piece was placed by the King on the back of a white elephant which was released in the jungle. The elephant is said to have climbed up Doi Suthep, at the time called Doi Aoy Chang (Sugar Elephant Mountain), trumpeted three times before dying at the site. It was interpreted as a sign and King Nu Naone ordered the construction of a temple at the site.
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