The Secret Jungle Temple – Wat Palad – was built within the jungle, in fact, it was built in the heart of this jungle, a special place; one of the most peaceful and enchanting places, one can imagine in the Far East.
The place is full of fascinating, intricate stone carvings, staircases and statues of Buddhas, dragons, worshipers, candle holders, and all representing high quality art.
Wat Palad (also spelled “Wat Palat” or “Wat Pha Lat”), is unlike any other temple you’ll see in Chiang Mai, the city which has been the capital of the north for more than 700 years.
Wat Palad, in Northern Thai means “monastery at the sloping rock” and in opinion of many people, this temple is considered one of the most majestic places on earth. Wat Palad remained unregistered by the Thai government until 1991.
Folklore has it that long time ago, a Lua (Lanna Kingdom) hermit and others resided at what is now Wat Palad. They were visited by a God named Prajao Lieblok and his name means: “God of the earth”.
After providing spiritual teachings, Prajao Lieblok sat upon the sloping rock looking at this beautiful hill-forested landscape and said:
Undoubtedly, it was a kind of prophecy and the God embedded an invisible footprint into a rock and bestowed it to a guardian for safekeeping in the on-site cave.
According to the prophecy, this footprint would be revealed only to those worthy of such vision. Centuries later, in 1357, Chiang Mai’s King Kuena decided to build a shrine for a Buddha relic in the vicinity.
Most of known temples are usually richly decorated, Wat Palat, on the other hand, is not centered around one grand building. The beauty of the unique temple of Wat Palad – set right at the top of a waterfall spilling toward the city below – are not its buildings but mysterious forest paths, various shrines and statues scattered everywhere.