The Three Kings monument in front of the former provincial administration building (now the Chiang Mai City Art & Cultural Centre) is located at the centre of the original walled city. It commemorates Chiang Mai's founder, King Mengrai of Lanna, and his two regional allies – King Ramkamhaeng of Sukhothai and King Ngam Muang of Payao – who helped design the layout of what was to be called Nopburi Sri Nahkon Ping Chiang Mai. Mengrai had Wat Sadoe Muang ("temple of the navel of the city") constructed here after, according to legend, he saw two albino deer fend off a wolf pack at this site. The Three Kings has become an iconic symbol of Chiang Mai. Locals make offerings at a shrine in front of the statue, hoping to be blessed by their spirits. (Brian K. Smith photo.)
All that remains of Wat Sadoe Muang can be found on the south side of the cultural centre. There are two brick chedi, one within the cultural centre's grounds, the other across Intra Warorot Road, behind a small wooden viharn. Inside the viharn, called Wat Inthakhin, is Wat Sadoe Muang's Buddha. The city pillar (lak muang, guardian spirit of the city) was moved in 1800 by Prince Kawila to its current location at Wat Chedi Luang.
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