|Wat Suan Dok (วัดสวนดอก)
Thai. ‘Flower Garden Temple’.
Name of a Buddhist temple in
The temple was founded in 1370 AD by King
who between 1355 and 1389 was the
in order to house a relic of the
discovered by the Ceylonese monk Sumanathera
Sri Satchanalai, as he traveled frequently between this city and
Sukhothai to spread
Buddhism. The King
in 1369 invited Sumanathera
to come to
but since the temple was not yet ready to receive the monk nor the
relic, Sumanathera stayed at Wat
Phra Yeun in
Lamphun for two years.
Meantime construction of the temple started in the centre of
Suan Dok, an at that time
already existing walled settlement of the
people, that predates Chiang Mai
and which is located approximately one kilometer to the West of
Chiang Mai's city walls. When in 1371, the temple was ready, it was discovered that the relic had been miraculously split
in two, with one part being of the same size as the original relic. The smaller
relic was subsequently enshrined in the newly completed pagoda in
Wat Suan Dok, where it remains today; the other half of the relic was later placed in the
Wat Doi Suthep (fig.).
compound of Wat Suan Dok is home to one of the northern campuses of
the Buddhist University
is a centre for
languages, as well as for
a form of
and for a while
amongst its students.
Its pagoda features on a Thai postage stamp, issued in 1973 (fig.),
though today the
is completely gilded.