Wat Phra Kaew (วัดพระแก้ว), i.e.
the ‘Temple of the Jewelled Buddha’, is the name of the temple in Chiang Rai (เชียงราย)
that initially possessed the Emerald Buddha. The Buddha image was
discovered in 1434 AD when lightning struck the temple's octagonal chedi (เจดีย์)
revealing the statue. The current temple complex consists of several edifices.
The ubosot (อุโบสถ), i.e. the main prayer hall, is home to Phra Chao Lan Thong (พระเจ้าล้านทอง),
i.e. a bronze Buddha image seated in the maravijaya (मारविजया, มารวิชัย)
pose. When the original Emerald Buddha was removed and housed in Wat Phra Sri
Rattana Sahtsadahrahm in Bangkok (วัดพระศรีรัตนศาสดาราม), the temple produced a
replica, which is also known as Phra Yok Chiang Rai (พระหยกเชียงราย), i.e. the
‘Chiang Rai Jade Buddha Image’. Today, it not enshrined in a stupa, but on
display in a small, elevated, Lan Na (ล้านนา)-style building in the back of the
temple complex. The complex also has a museum, which in Thai is fully known as
Phiphithaphan Hohng Luang Saeng Kaew (พิพิธภัณฑ์โฮงหลวงแสงแก้ว), literally the
‘Principal Palace of the Shining Crystal Museum’, yet in English usually
referred to as Saeng Kaew Museum, and which focuses on the history and
development of Wat Phra Kaew, with ample displays of Buddhist and Lan Na
artifacts. The original name of the temple was Wat Pa Yia (วัดป่าเยี้ยะ), a
local dialect meaning ‘Bamboo Forest Temple’.