Wat Chet Yot

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Wat Chet Yot (also Wat Jet Yod or Wat Maha Photharam) is an elegant 15th-century temple set in peaceful and green grounds northwest of the walled city of Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Wat Chet Yot was built by King Tilokkarat in 1453 to host the Eighth World Buddhist Council. His remains are in one of the smaller chedis. In 1477, the World Sangkayana convened here to revise the doctrines of the Buddha.

This wat is markedly different in style from the others in Chiang Mai. Its unusual design featuring a main rectangular chedi with seven spires (chet yot) derives from its Indian inspiration. More specifically, Wat Chet Yot copies the Maha Bodhi Temple in Bodh Gaya, India, where the Buddha attained enlightenment. The temple also shows elements of Burmese, Chinese Yuan, and Ming influence.

Beneath the seven spires is a cave containing a Lanna-style Buddha image, sculpted in the mid-15th century. Around the base of the chedi are 70 smiling heavenly beings adorned in luxurious clothes and fine jewelry. The extraordinary proportions, the angelic, levitating figures carved into the base of the chedi, and the juxtaposition of the other buildings make Wat Chet Yot a masterpiece.

A door inside the niche containing the Buddha leads to the roof on which rests the Phra Kaen Chan (Sandalwood Buddha).