Wat Chama Thewi (Wat Kukut)

A relic of Lamphun's rich history

Photo of , , Lamphun

What we say: 3 stars

Little evidence remains today of Lamphun's earlier incarnation as an important satellite of the Dvaravati civilisation, but one intriguing exception is Wat Chamma Thewi.

This stunning but non-touristy temple is thought to have been built by a son of the town's first ruler, Chamma Thewi, in the early eighth century.

It's said that one of the weathered yet striking Mon-style chedis adorned with standing Buddha images contains the ashes of the great queen herself, and the chedis found here are considered the best examples of Dvaravati period architecture in Lamphun.

History buffs will further appreciate the murals in the main viharn building that depict scenes from Chamma Thewi's rise to power, and also an ancient Mon inscription discovered in the temple grounds.

The temple is also working on a museum that's expected to open in 2013 and will presumably house artifacts from the area's long, rich history.

Wat Chamma Thewi is set amid shady and pleasant grounds near the river; hardly anyone else was around during our most recent visit, which we appreciated after joining hordes of local tourists at the larger and more prestigious Wat Prathat Haripunchai in the centre of town.

The wat is also known as Wat Kukut (wat without top) in reference to a gold top of the chedi which was removed long ago.

More details
Chama Thewi Road
How to get there: This wat is around two kilometres to the west of central Lamphun. To get there you can either take a 15 minute walk down Chama Thewi Road or get a samlor to take you there.
Last updated: 4th November, 2012

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