Wat Phrathat-haripunchai (Wat Phrathat-Haripunchai Woramahawihan) is located in Lamphun’s city center, with Asadharos Street to the north, Chaimongkol Street to the south, Rob Muang Street to the east, and Inthayongyos to the west enclosing it on all sides. Lamphun citys’ City Hall is only 150 meters away from the shrine. Wat Phrathat-haripunchai Woramahawihan was constructed in 1108, during King Atthitayaraj’s reign. The temple has been in existence for more than 900 years.
Wat Phrathat-Haripunchai tale
Once upon a time, King Atthitayaraj ordered the construction of a castle and the subsequent planting of a toilet near the castle; nevertheless, he had no knowledge of the spot where the Lord Buddha’s relics were enshrined. Every time he finished using the toilet, a raven would fly over to the King’s head and defecate on his head. A crow once tried to evict him from that location. As a result, he felt both enraged and ecstatic at the same moment. The king instructed his courtiers to capture the crow, but no one was able to do so. To catch the crow, King Atthitayaraj must pray to the guardian angel.
Finally, the crow was apprehended and taken into custody that night. In his dream, the goddess appeared and instructed him that he needed to bring a seven-day-old baby who would be kept in the same cage as a crow. The baby can understand and speak the language of crows if he or she listens to the crow every day until he or she is nine years old. The goddess then instructed the king to question the baby about the crow’s behavior toward him. When the infant had reached the age of nine, the king realized the truth: the crow is the keeper of Buddha’s relics. After that, he ordered the toilet to be demolished, the bad dirt to be dug out, and good soil to be brought in to replace the land, along with sand.
To pay honor to the Buddha’s relics, the king had a ceremony put up with fragrant flowers and candles lit. Following the ceremony, the Buddha’s relics miraculously appeared from the ground. As a result, the king ordered the construction of “Phra that,” a six-meter-high Mon pagoda, as well as a viharn with arches on all four sides covering a 1.5-meter-high golden cinerary containing the Buddha’s relics. Furthermore, the king required the construction of a temple of worship, which included numerous large and small pavilions and became an important temple in the city. Following that, it is recognized in ancient tradition that anyone building a house in Lamphun must not exceed a height of six meters since it is higher than the relics.
Later, during the reign of King Sappasit, he ordered the construction of a gold urn to add more raise “Phra that” to a height of roughly four meters, a custom that was continued by every king who reigned over the city. Until King Khan Mengrai the Great took control of the city of Haripunchai. He ordered that Phra That be raised by 20 meters and that gold be brought to cover Phra That. This artifact has been renovated countless times since then. During King Tilokarat’s reign in 1986, he ordered that the height of Phra That be increased to 46 meters, the base width to 24 meters and hight to one meter, and the top of the Phra That to have seven layers of tiered umbrella.
Later, Phra Muang Kaew rebuilt and built a spear porch, which served as a city boundary, and then built a royal viharn in 1786. During King Kawila’s reign, Phra That was restored, and a layer of tiered umbrella was increased to nine layers, as well as royal tiered four corners. The base of the Phra That is square in design, 20 meters wide on each side, and the pagoda is surrounded by a brass fence.
The most interesting of Wat Phrathat-Haripunchai
Before accessing the temple area, visitors must pass through brick arches with intricately patterned plaster. It dates back to the Sriwichai period and is an ancient craft. It’s a three-tiered arch. A pair of enormous lions stand beautifully on a 1 meter high plinth in front of the arch. King Athitayarat’s reign, when he offered the palace to a monk.
After passing through the arch gate, you’ll notice “Viharn Luang,” a big viharn. There is a big structure with balconies on all sides and porches on the front and back. Instead of the old temple, which was swept away by a storm in 1923, it is a freshly constructed temple. Every day, Viharn Luang was used as a place of worship and religious activities. Inside the viharn is a big Buddha image made of brick and mortar, lacquered and gilded on a glass pedestal, as well as three Buddha, medium-sized metal casting sculptures from the Chiang Saen period, representing the first and middle classes.
Pathumwadi Chedi or Suwan Chedi
It’s at Phra That Haripunchai’s northwest corner. The chedi was made using laterite and bricks in the same construction style as the square chedi or the Ku Kut chedi at Cham Thevi temple in Lamphun Province. It’s a stacked square base chedi in the shape of a castle. The four-sided arches were ornamented with each of the five layers. On each side, there are three porches. A terracotta is enshrined within the arch. Gilding traces can be seen on Buddha’s feet. Only a few are still visible at this time. The pagoda’s top is a stucco petal with sheet metal covering. The highest point is the slender, pointed cone that leads up to Suwan Pagoda bears major impressions, like Phra Perem, which is famed in Lamphun.
Phra That Haripunchai is located to the northeast. It was created in 1938 by Phrakhru Phithak Chetiyanukit (Kruba Khamfu) as a tower for hanging bells and huge bells. A big bell, cast under the reign of Chao Luang Dara Direk Ratanapairote, hangs at the summit. The faith to erect this enchantment in Wat Phra Sing, Chiang Mai, as an offering to Phra That Haripunchai was cast in 1860 by Kruba Sung Hedgehog by Kanchana Maha Thera, the abbot of Wat Pa Muang Phrae Temple and the city governor of Chiang Mai.
How to travel to Wat Phrathat-Haripunchai
Going to Lamphun Province
– A car/bus ride from Bangkok to Lamphun Province, a distance of 658 kilometers, takes approximately 8 hours and 15 minutes.
– Travel to Lamphun Province by train from Bangkok. The quickest time is approximately 11 hours and 30 minutes, but depending on the type of train, it may take longer.
Lamphun is devoid of an airport. Those flying prefer to land in the nearby province of Chiang Mai and then travel by car or bus to Lamphun.
How to Get to Wat Phrathat-Haripunchai
Wat Phrathat-Haripunchai is located on the outskirts of Lamphun. Visitors to the city can easily travel by having a pedicab that can be used for general services, with service rates starting at 20 baht.
Address : Wat Phra That Hariphunchai Woramahawihan, Rob Mueang Nai Road, Nai Mueang Subdistrict, Mueang Lamphun District, Lamphun Province
Open for viewing: 06.00 A.M. – 06.00 P.M.
Tel : 0-5356-3612
Admission fee, foreigners 20 baht.