Photo: Bigger than it looks.

Wat Jet Yot

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The correct name for this historic, attractive and unusual Chiang Mai temple is Wat Potharam Mahavihara. Locals however generally use the name Wat Jet (or Chet) Yot, meaning the Temple of Seven Spires, after its famous centrepiece, a seven-spired chedi.

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According to the Thai Fine Arts Department, the wat was originally constructed in 1455 by the Lanna king Tilokkarat for his most revered monk, a certain Phra Uthamapanya Mahathera, but also importantly as a kind of mediaeval conference centre for a world Theravada Buddhist reunion that was held in Chiang Mai in 1477. (Good forward planning by Tilokkarat!)

A timeless gaze. Photo taken in or around Wat Jet Yot, Chiang Mai, Thailand by Mark Ord.

A timeless gaze. Photo: Mark Ord

This, the eighth world Tripitaka conference, was being held for the first time in Thailand so was a major prestige coup for the Lanna kingdom and the ruler himself. Tripitaka is the Buddhist Pali canon, thus it was a reunion of high profile religious leaders from all places across the Theravada Buddhist world, including Sri Lanka, Burma, India and the Khmer kingdom to discuss finer points of doctrine. (We would have liked to have seen the selection process and can imagine the organisers checking out public transport, participants’ accommodation and whether the bathrooms were ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 300 words.)

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Popular attractions in Chiang Mai

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Chiang Mai.

Best places to stay in Chiang Mai

A selection of some of our favourite places to stay in Chiang Mai.

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 Browse our independent reviews of places to stay in and around Chiang Mai.
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