Today’s Snippet of History: Old Lamphun Road

 | Tue 22 Jan 2019 12:48 ICT

CityNews – The old Chiang Mai- Lamphun Rd. (old route) is well known as one of the more attractive roads around our city, with its line of majestic trees lining the narrow road for over a century. While the new Chiang Mai-Lamphun highway has taken much of the traffic from this old road, it is still used by many locals as well as being visited by tourists.

There is a little-known annual event held along this route at old city pillar where they are building a new shrine, Phra Sri Song Muang and Pu Kum Nga Khiao statues, where locals bring joss sticks, flowers, candles, seven colours of satin and garlands for respect.

On 7th March, 1953, King Rama IX and Her Majesty Queen Sirikit took a break from their journey at the number 1 yang na tree – it is the first tree on the road – the end point from Lamphun and the start point from Chiang Mai; this historical tree is today opposite the City Pillar Shrine.

According to legend, Lamphun Vassal Price, Anuntayod and Mahuntayod came to the north of Lamphun to mark the border. He rode a female elephant name Pu Kum Nga Kiao and stopped at an abandoned temple (Wat Nang Liao today) and the elephant refused to continue. So, he chose this temple to be the border line between Lamphun and Ching Mai – they erected a piece of hardwood as a symbol, but it soon decayed. Local prisoners were therefore tasked with building a pillar from baked clay which is today’s shrine.