Wat Chedi Jed Yod (วัดเจดีย์เจ็ดยอด), i.e. the ‘Temple with the Seven Stupas’,
is one of the most important sanctuaries of northern Thailand, located in Chiang
Mai (เชียงใหม่) and also known by the name Wat Photharam Maha Wihaan (วัดโพธารามมหาวิหาร).
It was built in 1455 AD by the royal command of Phaya Tilokarat (พญาติโลกราช),
the 11th King of the Lan Na (ล้านนา) Kingdom (1441-1487 AD). The main temple
building with seven stupas is a replica of the Maha Bodhi (महाबोधि) Temple at
Bodh Gaya (बोध गया) 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 (พระโพธิรังสีมหาเถระ), a learned author of the Chamadevi
Wongsa (จามเทวีวงศ์), a writing on the Dynasty of Chamadevi (จามเทวี). In 1477
King Tilokarat convened a council of senior monks well versed in the Tripitaka (त्रिपिटक)
at this monastery. They were chaired by Phra Dhammadina Maha Thera (พระธรรมทินมหาเถระ)
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 Tilokarat died his succeeding grandson Phra Yod Chiang Rai (พระยอดเชียงราย)
constructed a crematorium for the cremation of the King and had a large chedi (เจดีย์),
i.e. a stupa, built at the temple to hold his grandfather's ashes. The wihaan's
outer walls feature elaborate sculpted bas-reliefs of angels called thevada (เทวดา),
many originally with a phranommeua (ประนมมือ) or wai (ไหว้) gesture. The
temple's compound also features several large Rain Trees and the elegant Khun
Mae Wannih Phakdi Modilai (คุณแม่วรรณี ภักดีมอดิลัย) edifice that was built to
commemorate the 700th anniversary of the city of Chiang Mai.