Wat Chedi Luang (Temple of the Big Stupa) is an impressive ruined temple in the center of Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, dating from the 14th and 15th centuries.
King Saen Muang Ma (r.1385-1401) began construction on Wat Chedi Luang in 1391 to hold the ashes of his father, Ku Na. The building was expanded by later kings, reaching its final form in 1475.
It was then given the great honor of housing the Emerald Buddha, the holiest religious object in Thailand (now kept in Wat Pra Kaeo, Bangkok). At this time, Wat Chedi Luang rose to a height of 84m (280 ft.).
A century later, a severe earthquake (1545) toppled part of the great spire. The Emerald Buddha was kept in the chedi for another six years, then moved to Luang Prabang (in present-day Laos) by the king.
Five years later, Chiang Mai fell to the Burmese. The temple was never rebuilt, but even at its post-earthquake height (60m) it remained the tallest structure in Chiang Mai until modern times.
Several viharns were added to the temple complex in subsequent years; the largest viharn was built in 1928.
Asia is the biggest continent on Earth, a darling little gem floating around in space.Hm, what is Asia? Who's in on it?China and India are safe bets for Asian nations. Korea, Japan, Thailand, you're fine.Europe? No. Europe would sort of be on the "Asian continent" if not for those pesky Ural mountains dividing things up in the middle, and then also the whole lineage of kings and wealth and nations and the EU and all that "give me my respect" stuff.Russia would probably be happiest as its own continent, so for now we'll leave it in "Eurasia" and just hope the natural gas supplies keep flowing.Pakistan and Afghanistan are dang close to Asia, but politically they show up in "Middle East" news stories an awful lot. Verdict: Eurasia.I guess we'll actually have to consider everything from Turkey on eastward to be "Eurasian", although the moniker seems overlappitory of the territory.The Asian economy is now officially raging like a wild furnace of lava that consumes everything in its path. Japan has had the largest individual economy in Asia for decades, but it is forecast that both India and China will outstrip Japan within twenty years.China is the largest holder of United States debt and is positioned to become the world's next superpower, provided that Godzilla doesn't return and decide to stomp everybody back into the Shang Dynasty.Text by Steve Smith.