Wat Ming Muang, Chiang Rai
Wat Ming Muang, a seven hundred year old temple with the gorgeous wooden Vihara, was built in 1262 in the reign of King Mengrai the great (1239-1311). His Queen, Devi Usapayako, frequently came to pray to the Lord Buddha in front of the serene Buddha statue in this Vihara. A historical record illustrates that this temple is a memorial of King Mengrai's mother, Queen Oaming Chommuang, who loved to come to meditate in the Vihala as well.
King Mengrai generally visited the temple to make merit at least twice a year: one was on the full moon night of Visaka in the sixth month of the lunar calendar. The other on Loy Krathong Day (Yi Peng Festival) in the twelfth month. Praying to the Lord Buddha, he circumbulated three complete rounds at the sacred pagoda in which his mother's ashes were kept.
The familiar name of this temple was originally 'Wat Chiang Moob', meaning 'The Temple of Crouching Elephants'. According to some Thai archaeologists, the Emerald Buddha Statue, the same one at the Grand Palace in Bangkok, initially discovered at Wat Phra Kaew in Chiang Rai, was respectfully invited to Chiang Mai by the procession of royal elephants in gentle posture later became a famous name of the temple.
In 1970, the temple received the royal appointment for becoming a formal Buddhist temple of Thailand and it was given the propitious official name 'Wat Ming Muang - The auspicious temple of the city'.
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