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Exploring the Enigmatic Wat Umong Ruins in Thailand

Exploring the Enigmatic Wat Umong Ruins in Thailand

Wat Umong is a hidden gem of Chiang Mai, a city in northern Thailand. Unlike the popular temples in the city, Wat Umong is a unique attraction that promises to take you back in time to explore the rich history of the region. This ancient temple, nestled in the lush greenery of the forest, features an array of crumbling chedis, a maze of underground tunnels, and serene meditation areas.

Read more: Exploring Elephant Nature Park in Chiang Mai: A Sanctuary for Elephants

The History of Wat Umong

Wat Umong is said to have been built in the late 13th century by King Mangrai, the founder of the Lanna Kingdom. The temple was originally known as Wat Umong Mahathera Chan, which translates to “the temple of the tunnels of the great monk Umong.” The temple was built as a sanctuary for the monk, who was seeking solace in the forest.

Over the centuries, the temple has undergone several renovations, with the most significant being in the 15th century, during the reign of King Tilokkarat. During this period, the temple was expanded to accommodate more monks, and the tunnels were added. The tunnels were believed to have been created to provide shelter for the monks during the rainy season.

The unique features of Wat Umong

Wat Umong is unlike any other temple in Thailand. The temple grounds are spread over a vast area and are home to numerous unique features.

The Chedis: The temple is home to several chedis or stupas, which are large, domed structures that house relics or the remains of important religious figures. The chedis at Wat Umong are in various states of decay and are covered in moss and vines, giving them a mystical appearance.

The Tunnels: The underground tunnels of Wat Umong are a fascinating feature of the temple. The tunnels are believed to have been created to provide shelter for the monks during the rainy season as well as a place for meditation. The tunnels are cool, dark, and quiet, providing a perfect escape from the hot and bustling city.

The Meditation Areas: Wat Umong is known for its serene and peaceful meditation areas. The temple has several meditation pavilions and a large pond, which is said to have healing properties. Visitors can participate in meditation sessions at the temple or simply enjoy the tranquil surroundings.

Visiting Wat Umong

Wat Umong is located on the outskirts of Chiang Mai and is easily accessible by taxi or motorbike. The temple is open to visitors every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and there is no entrance fee.

When visiting the temple, it is advisable to wear comfortable clothing and shoes, as there is a lot of walking involved. Visitors should also be respectful of the temple’s rules and customs, such as removing shoes before entering certain areas and dressing modestly.

Conclusion

Wat Umong is a unique and enigmatic temple that offers visitors a glimpse into the rich history and culture of Thailand. Its tranquil surroundings, underground tunnels, and crumbling chedis make it a must-visit attraction for anyone traveling to Chiang Mai. So, whether you’re interested in exploring the temple’s ancient history or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the city, Wat Umong is definitely worth a visit.

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Thailand is a Southeast Asian country known for its tropical beaches, opulent royal palaces, ancient ruins and ornate temples displaying figures of Buddha. Discover what Thailand has to offer with onestopthai!
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