The Wat Phan Tao is one of the older temples of Chiang Mai found in the old walled center of the city. The first structures were likely built towards the end of the 14th century.
Wat Phan Tao, meaning “temple of a thousand kilns”, probably derives its name from the ovens used to cast Buddha images for another temple, the Wat Chedi Lua th which is immediately next to the Wat Phan Tao.
The viharn of the Wat Phan Tao was originally a Ho Kham, a throne hall for one of Chiang Mai’s Kings built in 1846. After a new King ascended the throne, the Palace Hall was most likely torn down to make way for a new Palace building. The wooden panels of the old structure were used to build the viharn of the Wat Phan Tao in the year 1876.
The viharn is an all wooden building constructed from teak panels set on a stone base. It is one of the few remaining all wooden structures of its sort in Chiang Mai. It has a three tiered roof with golden colored chofah (roof finials) shaped as stylized Naga snakes on its roof ends.
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