Chiang Mai, Mahabodhi Hall

King Tilokarat established it in 1455 A.D. He commanded his artisan to copy the style of Mahabodhi Hall in Bodh Gaya, the place where the Lord Buddha gained the enlightenment. Moreover, he had a Bodhi tree planted here, so the temple was named “Wat Maha Bodharam”.

Mahabodhi Hall of this place and the one of Bodh Gaya share a common style and plan. Moreover, like the latter, it is surrounded by a set of edifices relating with the concept of Sattamahasathan, the Seven Great Places where the lord Buddha experienced the bliss of enlightenment for seven weeks.

Its superstructure contains five Sikhara tops. The walls are decorated with the figures of divinities, which referred to the celestial assembly after the lord Buddha’s gaining Buddhahood. The celestial beings from thousands of universes gathered for celebration and spread heaven flowers. Their attires show the influence of Lanka art while the falling flowers are reminiscent of Chinese influence and were famous in Lanna during the 16th century A.D.

Rattanachonkrama (The Third Week of Sattamahasathan) in Wat Jedyod

The Lord Buddha created a place between the Bodhi tree and Animisacedi for practicing a walking meditation for seven days. After gaining the enlightenment, the Lord Buddha realized that some divinities doubted his Buddhahood. Thus he performed a miracle by creating a place for practicing a walking meditation amidst the air.

This place is called Rattanachonkramacedi. The edifice for this week is a hexagonal platform without any construction above. Rattanachonkrama in Mahabodhi Temple of Bodh Gaya is represented by a platform which was built in the same plan and is situated in the same direction.

Maha Bodhi Tree (The First Week of Sattamahasathan) in Wat Jedyod

The place of this week referred to the throne, on which the Lord Buddha gained the enlightenment. After obtaining the Buddhahood, the Lord Buddha experienced the bliss of full enlightenment under the Bodhi tree for seven days.

As for this Bodhi tree, King Tilokarat had it planted in 1455 A.D. Possibly, he raised this project with an intention to celebrate the 2,000th anniversary of Buddhism. He named this temple “Wat Maha Bodharam”, showing the relation with the Bodhi tree.

Rattanagharacedi (The Fourth Week of Sattamahasathan) in Wat Jedyod

The Lord Buddha resided in a pavilion to the northwest of the Bodhi tree and contemplated Abhidharma for one week. The celestial beings established a pavilion and presented it to the Lord Buddha.

After the contemplation finished, there was a halo radiating from his body. Thus, this place is called Rattanagharacedi. Normally, the Buddha image of this scene is portrayed either in a devil-subduing posture or in a meditating one.

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