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Wat Koo Tao

Wat Koo TaoWat Koo Tao

Wat Koo Tao
This monastery is located outside the city walls at the north end of the Provincial Stadium. The name is curious. It has two meanings. The sound of the word in the Lao language means “ashes” ( Kee tao ). The word is the common word used by the town people, not Scriptural word referring to ashes or relics of the Buddha. Some people understand it to mean “squash” or “gourd” because the Chedi looks like five gourds ( Nam Tao ) piled one on top of each other.

It is believed to be the reliquary for the ashes of Prince Tarawadi, son of King Bureng Nong of Burma who conquered Lanna Thai in 1556 and again in 1578. Tarawadi was made Prince of Chiang Mai by his father in 1579.

The entrance to the Wat has Burmese style lions. Three and a half of the five graduated spheres are decorated with pottery flowers. There is a graceful umbrella on top. The square pedestal on which the Chedi stands has tiered umbrellas-the emblem of rank-at the corners.

The large Viharn has three doors and low hanging decorations reminiscent of the Burmese style. The front and gable are of wood-carving on wood, much of it missing. The steps leading to the porch have a Naga balustrade.

            The small Viharn ( or Bot ) was built in 1928. Over the door is a design of two Nagas with tails twisted together.