Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Lanna Temple

Chiang Mai Temples are the cultural and historical heart of the city. The most famous have been places of pilgrimage for northern people for centuries. As traditional centers of merit making, they are the best places to see Buddhist ceremonies. Funded by noble and wealthy benefactors over a long period, they have also become the repositories of some of the finest examples of religious art. If you had but half a day in the city, then it is to one or two of these temples that you should go.

The Lanna Temple

Thai temples have long served as the center of the community. While this traditional role has diminished as young people have had less time for religious observances, the temples still lie at the heart of the ritual and social life of much of society.

Though earlier temples were the most durable constructions of the day, the wooden roofs and older earth filled walls have not survived the destructive forces of nature and man. Therefore most of the temple buildings seen today do not go back much before the 19th century.

Only the stupas (which shall be referred to as chedi) and some walls and sculptured images which were built of laterite or brick covered with stucco have survived for longer periods.

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