Ruins and Temples at Wiang Kum Kam, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

high-definition creative commons photographs from this ancient capital of Lanna, Chiang Mai Province, Thailand, showing the architecture, statues and decoration work, together with further information.

Play Moving Slideshow (24)

 

Sunken Temple

Sunken Temple

Ruins under Water

Ruins under Water

Kinnon

Kinnon

Supporting the Bodhi Tree

Supporting the Bodhi Tree

Under the Bodhi Tree

Under the Bodhi Tree

Elephant

Elephant

Dragon Guarding the Steps

Dragon Guarding the Steps

Festooned Viharn

Festooned Viharn

Mythical Demon

Mythical Demon

Chedi E Kang

Chedi E Kang

Chedi E Kang

Chedi E Kang

Chedi Nan Chang

Chedi Nan Chang

Chedi Nan Chang

Chedi Nan Chang

Chedi That Khao

Chedi That Khao

Chedi Liam Viharn

Chedi Liam Viharn

Chedi Liam Ubosot

Chedi Liam Ubosot

Chedi Liam and Ubosot

Chedi Liam and Ubosot

Chedi Liam, Ven Sivali in Front of Ubosot

Chedi Liam, Ven Sivali in Front of Ubosot

Chedi Liam, Ubosot Lion and Elephant

Chedi Liam, Ubosot Lion and Elephant

Chedi Liam Ubosot Window

Chedi Liam Ubosot Window

Chedi Liam Ubosot Window

Chedi Liam Ubosot Window

Chedi Liam Ubosot Window

Chedi Liam Ubosot Window

Chedi Liam

Chedi Liam

Chedi Liam Statues

Chedi Liam Statues

 

Disciple
Disciple on Ubosot Window Frame, Chedi Liam

Wiang Kum Kam is a recently restored settlement along the Ping River, which was built by King Mangrai as his capital before he moved it to Chiang Mai, after it was flooded more than 700 years ago; that move became more understandable in 2005, when the ancient city was flooded three separate times and the river overflowed its banks in that area of Chiang Mai.

Wiang Kum Kam is located in Sarapee district in the the northern region of Thailand, around 20km south of Chiang Mai. According to the chronicles and archeological evidences, the old city was built by King Mangrai around the latter part of 1281.

The city was established as a new capital by the King after his victory over the Mon Hariphunchai kingdom, modern Lamphun. Wiang Kum Kam flourished during the reign of the Mangrai dynasty until the late 16th century.

The old city was then lost from history for many years after Chiang Mai was conquered by the Burmese in 1558. There is a presumption that it flooded again at this time and was finally abandoned. The people were moved back to this area once again more than 200 years later with a new community, and it was then named Chang Kham village.

In 1984, the Department of Fine Arts in Thailand discovered remnants of the old city at Wat Kam Thom and afterwards excavation was begun, later many new remains have been found and restoration has proceeded since that time.

The main temple in the area is Wat Chedi Liam (originally Wat Ku Kham), the name Wat Ku Kham means The Temple of the Golden Chedi and the later name means The Temple with the Angular Chedi. It was built c.1288 and remained in use during the early Lanna period after the new city of Chiang Mai had been established by King Mangrai the Great.

The current buildings are from a renovation in 1908 CE by a Burmese trader. Because of this many of the decorations of the wat are Burmese in style. The Chedi was further renovated in 1992 when a number of other improvements were made to the site. Despite its great age the wat is still in use today.

The Chedi is a five-tiered design common in the early Lanna period and shows clear influence of the Mon Haripunchai design. Each corner of the chedi is guarded by a large, outward facing lion, and there are Buddha statues showing different mudras on four of the tiers of the Chedi.

Text adapted from the Wikipedia articles Wiang Kum Kam and Wat Chedi Liam (retrieved, July 14th 2011

 

Chedi Liam Decoration
Decoration at Wat Chedi Liam

 

Photographs by Anandajoti Bhikkhu

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