Experiences - Asia

Temple of Thailand – Wat Lok Moli

Thailand is home to some of the best-known temples in the world. Wat Lok Moli is a Buddhist temple situated in northern Thailand in Chiang Mai.

The temple is situated on the north side of the north moat surrounding the old part of the city. Built in the 16th century, the temple was maintained by the Mengrai royal family and houses the ashes of many of its members. It is said that the Buddhist monks who were invited from Burma by the sixth king of the Mengrai dynasty, King Kuena (1355-1385), to spread their teachings, were housed in this temple.

Thailand - Wat Lok Moli

Image Courtesy: Pacific Wanderer 태평양 과객 used under the Creative Commons Licence

The architecture and aesthetics of this temple is truly spectacular. The brickwork of the large chedi (the large monumental tower of the temple) is left mostly bare, unlike the other temples in Chiang Mai.

The finely sculptured Nagas and wooden temple façade is something you can’t miss. The temple is aligned along a north-south axis, contrasting most Buddhist temples that are orientated towards the East, facing the rising sun.

As you enter the precincts of the temple you can feel a positive vibe that surrounds the place. The aura in the air is palpable. You can find an image of the Buddha in a meditative position in the spacious viharn (huge assembly hall) in the entrance.

The murals that adorn the walls of the viharn have eight different Buddha positions. What is more interesting and intriguing at different corners of the temple precincts is the statue of the Holy Trinity (Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva) and Ganesha which adorn the place. The Wat Lok Molee temple complex has a kuti, the living quarters for the monks.

Wat Lok Molee

Image Courtesy: Pacific Wanderer 태평양 과객 used under the Creative Commons Licence

During the end of the 18th century the city of Chiang Mai was abandoned and the Wat Lok Molee was left deserted, it was renovated in the second half on the 20th century.

If you feel tired of walking around the temple you can grab a sip of coffee or a cold drink at the small café inside the precincts of the temple.

The Wat Lok Molee is located just outside of the old walled city on Thanon Manee Nopparat Soi 2. To get there, exit the old city on the North end though Chang Puak gate and turn left. The temple is at about 400 meters from the gate.

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