Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew is famous
throughout Thailand as the original home of the translucent green
Buddha which graces the Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkoks Grand
Palace. It was discovered in 1434 when a bolt of lighting hit an
old Chedi. In the occasion of HRH Princess Mother at her 90 years
in 1990, Phra Yok Chiangrai, made of jade brought from Canada, a
replica of that image was created to presides over at Hor Phra Yok,
which was opened by HRH Princess Kalayaniwattana on November 26th
Wat Phra Kaew
is also famous as the one of the royally endowed temple
in this province. The abbot, Venerable Phra Dhammarachanuwat is
the ecclesiastical head of all North Thailand.
Like many temples throughout Thailand, Wat Phra Kaew is the beneficiary
of many donations of important religious art works from members
of its parish making merit. Arguably being the most important temple
in the province, this Wat Phra Kaew has received more than its share
over many centuries. Since 2006 Acharn Supachai Sitilert, retired
Deputy Director of the National Science Museum (in Bangkok) and
Rebecca Weldon, a museumologist formerly based at Rai Mae Fah Luang,
have worked through the temples vast storage of treasures to identify
and research the holdings. Their initiative is now being supported
by many monks based at the temple who are doing advanced studies
in Lanna documentation, history and archaeology. Fortunately religious
donations are usually very well documented (sometimes literally
in stone), and the results of their efforts may be seen in a fine
community museum inside the temple grounds.
The small selection on display is beautifully arranged to illustrate
many aspects of religious art in Lanna over hundreds of years. Each
item is labeled in Thai, English and Lanna. The literate in both
Thai and English can ask for brochures giving much greater detail.
There are also some secular items on display including the official
uniform of Jao Rachawong Buarakot, which was appointed from Bangkok
The museum is located on Trirat Road across from Overbrook Hospital.
Entry is free of charge. It operates seven days a week from 9.00
to 17.00 oclock.