History
 
 

The history of Wat Ram Poeng (Tapotaram)

 
 
King Tilokaraj, one of the Mengrai Dynasty, was the ninth king of
Chiangmai from 1985 to 2030 B.E. He had only one son, Tao Sri Boonroeng. King Tilokaraj was told by his favourite wife that Tao Sri Boonroeng who was then twenty years old was trying to overthrow him and become king himself. Consequently, Tilokaraj sent his son away to rule Chiang Rai and Chiangsaen which were under the domination of Chiangmai at the time.
At Chiangrai, Tao Sri Boonroeng had a son. This child was born while
his mother was traveling and staying on the top of a mountain in Chiangrai (Yod Dok Bua). So, Tao Sri Boonroeng named his son as Yod Chiangrai which means the top of Chiangrai.
 
     
  Some years later; King Tilokaraj was again told by his wife Nang
Hau Mook, that Tao Sri Boonroeng was trying to rebel against him. He then decided to murder his son and make his grandson, Chao Yod Chiangrai, ruler of Chiangrai.
 
In 2030 B.E. King Tilokaraj died and Chao Yod Chiangrai was
crowned King of Chiangmai. Affter he had arranged the affairs of the Kingdom, he then started to investigate the case of his father’s death, to search for the persons who had accused his father of rebellion and thereby also caused his mother’s mental illness. On discovering the
 
persons who were responsible for the sad fate of father and mother, King Yod Chiangrai sentenced them to dead. However, as a devout follower of Lord Buddha, he wished to make recompense for this action.
   
At this time, a wandering monk came and stayed at the foot of Doi Kham, Tambol
 
Suthep, the place were Wat Ram Poeng is situated nowadays. The monk later told King Yod Chiangrai that he had seen rays of light coming from the foot of a tree near where he was staying. He thought that there might have been some relics buried there. King Yod Chiangrai visited the spot, sitting on an elephant’s back, he made a wish. If there were relics buried there and he was fortunate enough to become a patron of Buddhism, the elephant did stop under the tree and relic was found. It was a tooth in a container of Chiangsaen style. The King then brought the relics held a grand celebration. During the celebration, the relics revealed a radiance like the moon at the beginning of lunar month. The relics was placed in a golden container and eventually put in a pagoda in the Wat. Wat Ram Poeng, which was later, built near the place where it was found.
 
 
In this Wat, King Yod Chiangrai has a stone inscription is
 
called “Sila Phak-kham”. This inscription survives to this day. It says, “on Friday”, the third day of the seventh lunar month, the year of the rat, 2035 B.E. at 8:20 a.m. the most auspicious time, this Wat was established by the religious and secular authorities of Chiangmai. The King commanded that Queen Atapadevi was to take charge of the construction of the Wat. The Queen set up
a committee responsible for the construction consisting of the following persons:
 

The Committee on the Religious Side
1. Phra Mahasaminanabodhichao
2. Phra Mahathera Surasimahabodhichao
3. Phra Mahathera Dhammasenapatichao
4. Phra Mahathera Saddhammaprasadchao
5. Phra Mahathera Nanasagara Aramitrachao

  The Committee on the Secular Side
1. Atapadevi Director
2. Chao Muang Yee
3. Ativisudha Chao Muen Muang Tin Chiang
4. Chao Muen Kamphraklang
5. Chao Muen Dhammasenapati Muang Cha
6. Chao Muen Nungsuwimonkirati Singharajmontri
7. Chao Pan Chaengkadi Ratanapanyo
8. Chao Muen Som Rajapankrig.
 
  After World War ll the villagers who used to live near Wat Ram Poeng and had scattered
to different places during the war came back. However, Wat Ram Poeng did not have an abbot to take care of it. Some monks came to stay for a while and left. In 2514 B.E. When work on rebuilding the Vihara had begun, Luang-poo Chansom or Khruba Som was invited to take over the post of abbot Two years later the work was completed, but Khruba Som passed away only several months after its commemoration.

In 2517 B.E. Phrakhru Pipatkanapibarn, the abbot of Wat Muang Mang and the head master of Vipassana Meditation Center, came to Wat Ram Poeng. He considered there. He decided to stay there and asked all the local people who were interested in Buddhism to help rebuilt the Wat. The response was such that on March 15, 2518 B.E. Wat Ram Poeng had the facilities to conduct courses in Vipassana Meditation and on this auspicious

day the Insight Meditation center was founded with Ven. Phrakhru Pipatkanapibarn as its head and acting abbot of Wat Ram Poeng
   
     
 
The Buddha image, Luang Pau Sri Ayodhya, in the Uposatha dating back some
700-800 years, was donated by Sergeant Prayoot Tripian on Saturday, March 22, 2518 B.E.

 

Since its foundation as a meditation retreat its support has grown and is well known to
meditate quiet, secluded and surrounded by woods. The center has facilities for both monks and lay meditators: and in recent years has responded to an ever increasing interest show by Thai meditators and foreign meditators from abroad, so that the Wat has appropriate accommodation for both, and an English speaking teacher and assistants.