|Wat Suwan Kuha’s magical Cave Temple|
Wat Suwan Kuha’s magical Cave Temple
Wat Suwan Kuha is an ancient temple in Phang Nga province. Located in TakuaThung, it is one of the province’s oldest archaeological and historical sites. The temple islocated inside a mountain cave adjacent to a number of smaller caves. Each cave isnamed differently, but the most historic was visited by King Rama V and the royal family,and that cave features his monogram. Known locally as Wat Tam (the Cave Temple), or "that temple with a big Buddha in acave", Wat Suwan Kuha is set inside a limestone karst and part of a complex of caves including Tam Yai (big cave), Tam Jaeng (bright cave), Tam Meud (dark cave), and theTam Kaew (crystal cave).The entrance is at Tam Yai (big cave), the largest and lowest cave measuring 20 x 40metres. The entire length of this cave has Benjarong and Lai Kram tiles (typical Thai artforms), a shrine (vihara) and a number of stucco figures of the Buddha. The principal Buddha image is a 15-metre-long Reclining Buddha.There’s a big Chedi (similar in appearance to Bangkok’s Wat Arun), whichcontains bones of the Na Takuathung family who were the local governors about160 years ago and who arranged for the construction of the shrine in the cave.There are royal initials of kings and members of the royal family,such as King Rama V the Great, King Rama VII and Queen Rambhaibarni, and King Rama IX the Great. The area in front ofthe cave is the feeding ground of a large number of monkeys. The Wat is not far from Khao Lak lying 12km west of Phang Nga, at Tambon Krasom (in Takua Thung district).Situated just off route 4 (easterly direction) between Khok Kloy and Phang Nga.