Wat Phra That Doi Suthep

Located 9 miles outside the city of Chiang Mai, Wat Phra That Doi Suthep is situated more than 3500 feet high up a mountain, overlooking the city & valley below. This temple is said to have been founded in 1383, when the main stupa was built to house a sacred relic.

The story goes that a buddhist monk had a dream telling him where to find a religious relic. When he went to look for this relic he found a bone, which is claimed to be the shoulder bone of Gautama Buddha (the Historical Buddha & founder of the religion of Buddhism ). It supposedly displayed magical powers, like glowing & being able to vanish.

When the monk brought the bone to northern Thailand, the local king placed it on the back of an elephant which was released into the jungle. The elephant climbed the mountain of Doi Suthep, stopped, trumpeted 3 times, then dropped dead! This was interpreted as an omen & the king immediately ordered the construction of a temple on the site. Due to its housing a personal relic of the Historical Buddha himself, this temple is one of the most sacred in all Thailand & draws pilgrims from all over the world.