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Midas Touched Doi Suthep

By ANTON TANQUINTIC

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Brilliant, eye-catching, and divine, the gold-plated chedi at the center of Wat Phra That Doi Suthep stands unchallenged as the holiest shrine in Northern Thailand. Throughout the complex, one finds designs and practices that draw from both Buddhist and Hindu influences—a characteristic mixing of faiths due to its proximity to Myanmar and the Indian subcontinent.

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Seated some 1,000 meters atop the mountain is Doi Suthep, a short commute from the old city of Chiang Mai. Part of the allure also comes from its half-legend origin story. It is said that the temple was founded toward the end of the 14th century, when a white elephant carrying an enshrined relic—a piece of the Buddha’s shoulder bone—climbed up the mountain and chose the spot to pass away. Today, the relic is housed in the gold chedi, around which the resident Buddhists and Thai devout come to pray, seek forgiveness, and find peace.



Source: Manila Bulletin

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