Wat Chedi Luang Stupa ~ Thailand

The Stupa behind Wat Chedi Luang temple in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

The Chedi Luang Temple (Wat Chedi Luang) is one of the most famous temples inside the old city of Chiang Mai in Thailand, especially known for the old imposing stupa.

The construction of Wat Chedi Luang began in the 14th century and was completed in the mid-15th century. At that time, the chedi was about 82m (270ft) high. In 1468 the famous Emerald Buddha was housed on the eastern niche (shown on the right side on the photo).

However, in 1545, an earthquake damaged the chedi and the upper part collapsed. The Emerald Buddha was then moved to Luang Prabang and finally to Bangkok. A copy of the Emerald Buddha made from black jade was offered and placed again in the reconstructed eastern niche for the 600th anniversary of the chedi.

In the early 90s, the UNESCO along with the ¬†Japanese government financed the reconstruction of the stupa. However the result is somewhat controversial, as some claim the new elements are in ‘Central Thai‘ style, not ‘Lanna‘ style.

Today, the chedi stands about 60m tall (about 200ft) and is the highest building inside the old city (inside the moat). In fact, no other building is allowed to be built higher than the stupa inside the old city.


Quick Tips:

If you can include a person in your shots, it will give a sense of scale. Try to chose a person that fits like the monk in this photo, or a climber during mountain shots etc.. Avoid the posing tourists with fake smiles.


3 Things I love:

Thai temple architecture

Arroz con leche

Ancient History


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Dmitriy Dzema

It is really huge and impressive. I have some old photos of this chedi before reconstruction in my blog :)

Brian Furbush

Great shot Dan – love that you isolated the one fellow walking in front of such an amazing temple – great work!


[…] Photo CritiquesE-booksWat Chedi Luang ~ ThailandInside the walls of the old city in Chiang Mai, Wat Chedi Luang is probably the second most famous temple (after Wat Phra Singh).Built in the mid-15th century and […]