Wiang Kum Kam

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The chedi of Wat Chedi Liam

Wiang Kum Kam (Thai: เวียงกุมกาม, Northern Thai: ᩅ᩠ᨿᨦᨠᩩᨾᨠᩣ᩠ᨾ) is the recently restored settlement along the Ping River, which was built by King Mangrai as his capital before he moved it to Chiang Mai. It was flooded and abandoned more than 700 years ago; that move became more understandable in 2005, when the ancient city was flooded three separate times as the river overflowed its banks in that area of Chiang Mai.

History[edit]

Wiang Kum Kam is an ancient city (Thai: เวียง, wiang, meaning "walled city") located in Saraphi District in the northern region of Thailand, around 3 km (1.9 mi) south of the southeastern corner of Chiang Mai's city centre. According to the chronicles and archaeological evidence, the old city was built by King Mangrai around the latter part of the 13th century.

The city was established as a new capital by the King after his victory over the Mon people's kingdom of Hariphunchai, modern Lamphun. Due to repeated flooding, a new capital, Chiang Mai, was built a few years later. Wiang Kum Kam flourished during the reign of the Mangrai dynasty until the late 16th century.

The old city was then lost from history for many years after Chiang Mai was conquered by the Burmese in 1558. There is a presumption that it was seriously flooded again at this time and was finally abandoned. The people were moved back to this area again more than 200 years later with a new community, and it was then named Chang Kham village (บ้านชั่งคำ).

In 1984, the Department of Fine Arts Unit 4 discovered remnants of the old city around Wihan Kam Thom (วิหานกานโถม) at Wat Chang Kham (วัดช้างค้ำ) and afterwards excavation was begun; since then many new remains have been found and restoration has proceeded since that time.

The main temple of the town is Wat Chedi Liam (originally: Wat Ku Kham), which is still occupied by monks.

References[edit]

Coordinates: 18°45′14.74″N 98°59′44.0″E / 18.7540944°N 98.995556°E / 18.7540944; 98.995556