Jinaraja Buddha (Phra Buddha Chinarat) is acclaimed to be the most beautiful Buddha image anywhere. It is one of the most revered Buddha images in Thailand, only second to the Emerald Buddha. It is in the attitude of subduing evil. Currently, it is located in Wat Phra Sri Rattana Mahathat Woraviharn in Phitsanulok in Northern Thailand. It was created during the reign of Phra MahaThammaRacha I (Phra Li Thai) in the style of Sukhothai. Actually, King Li Thai wanted three new Buddha images for his new temple. As a result, three artisans from Sawankhalok and Chiangsaen offered to cast three high-quality Buddha images for him. The first two, which were Phra Buddha Chinasri and Phra Buddha Satsada respectively, were cast very well and currently are housed in Wat Bavornives in Bangkok. However, the last failed many times. Eventually, an old man appeared mysteriously and created a Buddha image with a flaming halo, which ends in nagas on both sides of the Buddha and then the old man disappeared mysteriously. King Li Thai was so impressed and named that Buddha image as Jinaraja Buddha, which meant the Victorious King Buddha image. In 1631 King Ekatotsarot of Ayutthaya used his gold regalia to be beaten and put into gold sheets and used to coat the Buddha.
The beauty of Jinaraja Buddha is well known amongst both Thais and foreigners as the composition of the arts of Sukhothai and Chiangmai are perfectly balanced and elaborated. It was so beautiful and significant that King Vajiravudh praised the image: “…So long as Jinaraja Buddha remains in Phitsanulok, Phitsanulok will remain a town worthy of visiting at all time. And even if Phitsanulok had been stripped of its last belongings and yet still managed to retain Jinaraja Buddha on its soil, it might as well boast of an object most worthy of admiring in the North or even in the whole of Thailand itself…”
Many imitated Jinaraja Buddha were produced but the famous one, which was cast during the reign of King Chulalongkorn, is at Wat Benchamabophit in Bangkok.