Buddha: " Whenever you see things, just see. Whenever you listen, just listen. Whenever you know, just know."
Wat Jedyod - AKA Wat Ched Yod or
Wat Photharam Maha Vihan, Chiang Mai, Thailand.
We visited Wat Jedyod AKA Wat Ched Yod in December 2007, one of the most important Buddhist sanctuaries in Thailand and found a free entry working monastery site with many ruins from the era of King Tilokaraja of Lanna. The main chedi on the site contains his ashes. It is positioned behind the Maha Vihara Jedyod and housing a large gold coloured Buddha image, best viewed from the 'Ubosoth' or Ordination Hall end of the site by the Phra Chedi Kan Janthra and a much smaller Animis Chedi.
Construction took place in the 1460s on the present site of this monastery at the command of King Tilokaraj, the 11th monarch of the old Kingdom of Lanna, now north western Thailand. The ruins of the Maha Vihara Jedyod measuring about 30m by 17m and almost 19m high are now just a hint of what splendor must have been available to the eye when the building was complete with all the stucco, colour and gold leaf in place. As it is you can't help marvel at the structure, still used as a shrine today with a subduing Mara Buddha statue enshrined within. The roof has 5 square chedis and 2 bell shaped stupas - signifying what Wat Jedyod means ie. 'The temple of seven spires or pagodas'. The Maha Vihara is a replica of the Maha Bodhi temple at Bodhi Gaya in Bihar, central eastern India.
There are a number of raised stone and brick platforms around the site that housed buildings and chedis. The Ratana Ghara Chedi and Ratana Jongkrom are two of the more obvious ones to the west of the modern Vihara. There is also a series of original pathways, one of which leads from the modern Viharn to the ruins of the original porch and gateway, now one of the few buildings that can be seen from the main road, that forms the dual carriageway outer ring road.
The Bodhi tree is a descendant by propagation of the original Maha Bodhi tree that the Lord Buddha meditated under, making this a very important pilgrimage site for devout Buddhists in Thailand.
You can easily spend an hour or more just taking in the comfortable serenity of the monastery, including a visit to the modern Viharn, with its beautiful wall and ceiling paintings depicting the working life of Buddha, disciples and followers.
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