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Wat Chedi Luang or ‘the temple of the Great Stupa’ is a Buddhist temple inside the old city in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The current temple grounds originally consisted of three temples — Wat Chedi Luang, Wat Ho Tham and Wat Sukmi. The construction of the temple started in the 14th century under King Saen Muang Ma who planned to bury the ashes of his father there, due to prolonged issues the Wat was finally completed in the 15th century under the reign of King Tilokaraj.
Wat Chedi Luang is home to the Emerald Buddha, one of Thailand’s most important religious relics. The original statue of Emerald Buddha was first kept here in 1468, and the original Chedi or Pagoda of the temple is said to have been over 80 metres high. But during an earthquake in 1545, the upper 30 metres of the structure collapsed, and in 1551 the original statue of the Emerald Buddha was moved to Luang Prabang in Laos.
The main Chedi of this temple was reconstructed in the 1990s under the patronage of UNESCO and the Japanese government. However, the construction style did not match the original architecture and was considered controversial. In 1995, on the 600th anniversary of the Chedi of this temple, a copy of the Emerald Buddha in black jade was placed in the eastern niche, which housed the original Emerald Buddha as well.
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