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LEXICON

 

 

Wat Chedi Jed Yod (วัดเจดีย์เจ็ดยอด)

Thai. ‘Temple with the seven stupas’. One of the most important sanctuaries of northern Thailand, located in Chiang Mai and also known by the name Wat Photharam Maha Wihaan. It was built in 1455 by the royal command of Phaya Thilokarat, the 12th King of the Lan Na Kingdom (1441-1487 AD). The main temple building with seven stupas is a replica of the Maha Bodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya in India. The king also had a seedling of a bodhi tree planted in the compound of the temple, giving the temple its name Wat Photharam Maha Wihaan, the ‘monastery of the bodhi tree’. Its first abbot was Phra Bodhi Rangsi Maha Thera, a learned author of the Chamadevi Wongsa, a writing on the dynasty of Chamadevi. In 1477 King Thilokarat convened a council of senior monks well versed in the Tripitaka at this monastery. They were chaired by Phra Dhammadina and met with learned laymen chaired by the king to revive this Buddhist scripture. Their work is regarded the eight revival of the Buddhist Tripitaka. When in 1487 King Thilokarat died his succeeding grandson Phra Yod Chiang Rai constructed a crematorium for the cremation of the king and had a large chedi built at the temple to hold his grandfather's ashes. The wihaan's outer walls feature elaborate sculpted bas-reliefs of thevada (fig.), many originally with a phranommeua gesture.