Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao
Wat Phra Kaeo Don TaoWat Phra Kaeo Don Tao or Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao Suchadaram is located in WiangNuea sub-district, Mueang district, Lampang province.The temple was built between 1782 and 1809, during which the Chiang Saen people had been captured and herded to locate in Khelang town to recall goodness of MrsSuchada after being sentenced to death because of misunderstanding. However, the truth was revealed later. It was believed that the temple was a home and a watermelon farm of Goddess Suchada in the past. Later on 6 August 1984, the Ministry of Education combined WatSuchadaram with WatPhraKaeo Don Tai and called it WatPhraKaeo Don Tao Suchadaram.Its ordination hall is Chiang Saen style of architecture. It is a stucco-over-brick building decorated with mural paintings covered withlacquer and gold leaves. Inside the hall,a Buddha image in the attitude of subduing Mara is enshrined on a plaster base. The ordination hall was renovated in 1922, 1960 and 2007on the occasion of The Sixtieth Anniversary Celebrations of His Majesty’s Accession to the Throne.The reason why it was named Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao was that Mrs. Suchada found an emerald in the watermelon and offered it to a great monk who hired a craftsman to carve it as a Buddha image called PhraKaeo Don Tao. Afterwards, it was enshrined at Wat Phra That Lampang Luang. According to the legend, someone told this story to Lampang governor at that time that that monk and Mrs. Suchada had committed adultery. She was therefore executed while the monk fled away with the Buddha image, which has been enshrined at Wat Phra That Lampang Luang till present. Faithful people donated money to build a temple at Suchada’s house called WatSuchadaram. Some assumed that Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao and Wat Suchadaram were deserted, adding that this area was a watermelon orchard and upland. The Buddha relics were therefore called PhraBoromathat Don Tao and its temple was named WatPhra That Don Tao. Later when Phra Kaeo Don Tao was enshrined, its name was changed to “Wat Phra Kaeo Don Tao”.