Wat Cham Devi

Just a short distance outside of the old city moat west of Lamphun is the temple of Cham Devi. The temple was founded in 755, but most of the temple's buildings are relatively modern and uninteresting. However, the temple is extremely significant for its two unusual chedis (pagodas), both built around 1218.

The unique square pagoda of Wat Cham Devi

The largest of the two is a very unusual square 'stepped pyramid' shaped pagoda. It is the oldest surviving example of this type, from the Dvaravati period which ruled much of what is now Thailand from the sixth to eleventh centuries.

Each tier of the chedi is lined with standing Buddha images, 60 in all. Each of the images is in a different pose and framed by an elaborate arch. The pagoda is supposed to contain the ashes of Queen Chama Devi.

Adjacent to the large pagoda is the main prayer hall with its large Buddha image sitting on a brightly decorated altar. Set against the line of columns on one side of the hall are three smaller Buddha images cast in colored glass. You'll note that each of the images is costumed differently, representing the three seasons observed in Thailand.