Tham Khao Luang
Petchaburi is not only a province with a lot of history that has long been reflecting local culture and lifestyle, but also has many places of worship such as temples, in particular cave temples found on mountains throughout the province. Five kilometres away from the city centre towards the direction where Khao Wang is situated, a cave temple was built on a small hill with a height of only 92 metres. It is not that hard to get to there. The way up to the temple is not quite steep so that you can either walk or drive uphill. The cave temple is only about a hundred years old. It was built in the reign of King Chulalongkorn, who wanted to build a temple on Khao Luang Peak in honour of King Mongkut, who once visited the Tham Khao Luang Cave. King Chulalongkorn thought that the cave was fascinating with stalactites and stalagmites all over it. The cave also features a hole through which sunlight comes and gleams on stones, making the cavern colourful and allowing visitors to see all the beauty of the interior of the cave. Also, the hole permits cool air to flow into the cave, making it not humid. King Mongkut, who saw the beauty of the cave, had 10-metre long concrete stairs built from the foot of the mountain into the cave and also got the ancient Buddha images which were hosted in the cave before the Rattanakosin Period renovated. It is assumed that the statues, the six-metre long reclining Buddha and the large Buddha image in subduing Mara position, for example, were brought from somewhere else and hosted here by pilgrims.During his reign, King Chulalongkorn paid a visit to Petchaburi and wanted to construct a proper temple in the Tham Khao Luang cave in honour of his father, King Mongkut. He had new Buddha images made so as to host them in the cavern with the ancient ones. He also had the first five kings of the Chakri Dynasty’s coats of arms inscribed at the base of one of the newer Buddha statues.Wat Tham Khao Luang underwent renovations and improvements. Nowadays, tourist guides are provided by the temple and shops are available to visitors. In addition, there are lots of monkeys living in the temple.