In the center of Lamphun town near the Mae Kuang river is the Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, a very large temple with numerous structures dating from different periods. The name of the Wat translates to “Temple of the Sacred Hariphunchai Relic”.
The Lanna style Wat Phra That Hariphunchai was built on the site of an earlier 9th century Mon temple and houses one of the very few remaining examples of Mon architecture in Thailand.
According to legend, the temple was founded in 1150 by a Hariphunchai King, to enshrine a Buddha relic found in the Palace garden. It was built on the spot where the Palace of the first ruler of the Hariphunchai Kingdom, Queen Chamadevi used to be.
At the end of the 13th century, Hariphunchai was besieged by King Mengrai who brought Lamphun into the Lanna Kingdom. About mid 15th century, the temple was renovated and expanded with a number of Lanna style structures.