No dome for Doi Suthep

After two years of construction, temple officials have decided to scrap plans to build a golden dome at Phra That Doi Suthep, fearing it would obstruct views of the city of Chiang Mai below.

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Workers disassemble the uncompleted dome. Photos by Cheewin Sattha.

Temple axes Doi Suthep dome build

Cheewin Sattha

Chiang Mai: Phra That Doi Suthep has scrapped plans to build a large golden dome to quell public concerns that the structure would be an eyesore and obstruct the view from the popular mountaintop temple.

A temple development committee yesterday announced the dome project had been scrapped, two years after work started.

Complaints had been raised on social media that the dome would obstruct the view from Phra That Doi Suthep, which overlooks Chiang Mai, and that the design would clash with the temple’s traditional style.

Workers examine what was supposed to be the dome's spire.

A public relations officer for the temple, Wanlop Namwongprom, said the development committee had conceived the dome as a viewpoint tower which would shield visitors from rain and sunlight.

It was not intended to benefit the monks, he said.

However, due to the public backlash, the temple had decided to cancel the project, Mr Wanlop said.

The rooftop of the building where the dome was set to be installed will now be covered with transparent sheets to shield visitors from the weather.

The building which was set to house the dome will not be demolished, but will continue to serve as a VIP lounge and library, the panel said.

Construction workers and temple staff had nearly finished the removal of the uncompleted dome. Only four foundation poles remain after removal work began on Tuesday.

The 20 million baht dome project was expected to be completed next year. It was intended to exhibit the history of Phra That Doi Suthep and Chiang Mai as well as welcoming important guests.

The dome was designed to resemble the emblem of Phraya Kuena, the sixth Lanna king of the Mengrai dynasty who started building the temple 600 years ago.

Related search: Phra That Doi Suthep, dome, Chiang Mai

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