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Wat Phrathat Doi Tung (วัดพระธาตุดอยตุง)

Thai. Name of a Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai province, located on Doi Tung mountain, to the Northwest of the capital town, near the Burmese border, and reportedly built in 911 AD by Phra Chao Achutarat (อชุตราช) of Chiang Saen, who ordered a giant flag to be flown from the peak, in order to demarcate the site for the temple. In close proximity to the temple's ubosot, is a mysterious deep hole in the ground (fig.). According to legend, it was used to erect a giant flag pole to which a 1,000 wah (ca. 2,000 meter) long northern-style banner, called a tung (fig.), was attached. The temple has distinctive twin chedis, which are said to contain the relic collar-bones of the Buddha. The original pagodas are thought to be the first chedis ever constructed in the Lan Na Kingdom. The present pagodas have recently been downsized and have been remodeled in a different style than their predecessors (fig.), which had a square base (fig.). The temple is accessible by a tall staircase flanked by white-bodies nagas (fig.), and a long path with large temple bells (fig.), which starts at the top of the naga-stairs. Wat Phrathat Doi Tung is also known as Wat Phra Maha Chin That Chao (วัดพระมหาชินธาตุเจ้า). See also Phrathat. See also TRAVEL PICTURES and MAP.