The Tiger Cave Temple, a sacred site with unleashing green beauty all around. It is a Buddhist temple located 3km north-northeast of Kabri Town, in Thailand. Particularly it is very well known for its exceedingly steep and sweaty ascent comprising of 1260 steps, this end with a beautiful reward of an outstanding view of Kabri’s limestone rocks. Mountains are all on sides with a number of small caves.
The foundation of the temple dates back to 1975 when a Vipassana monk named Jumneun Seelasettho went to meditate in a cave. During his meditation, he witnessed tigers roaming around the cave. The naming of the temple comes from the discovery of tiger paw prints on the cave walls moreover the bulge of the cave resembles a Tiger’s paw.
The top of the stairs is 278 meters’ high elevation. At the top of the mountain, there is a large Golden Buddha Statue which can be seen from the shrine at the top of the stairs. There are many resting platforms along the way to the peak of the cave temple. There are two sets of stairs leading to the same point. At the top, there is an iconic Buddha statue. There are several other smaller statue and prayer points along with the platform. Here comes the most spectacular view, a feasting to eyes and heart, a panoramic view of Kabri and the surrounding landscape. This breath-taking view reveals everything from the rainforest of Khiriwong Valley that host the temple to the Andaman Sea around it. In the main temple, you will find bizarre photos of internal organs and split cadavers, which are supposed to reinforce the temporary nature of the body and help the monk to focus on spiritual matters. In some parts of the temple, you can see the human skeleton and decorated skulls. At the top of the limestone tower “footprints of The Buddha” can be seen.
The Tiger Cave Temple is an active temple for monks so one may witness some of the activities that occur within the temple such as meditation which is a very prominent activity. Many monks meditate here throughout the day. The temple ground is very sacred for religious reasons, and certain rules must be obeyed to get the full experience of the temple. One of the biggest rules is the dress code. It is important to make note of proper attire to enter the ground level cave temple or even to climb the stairs. The main thing to avoid is too revealing clothes for both men and women. There are various nearby stands that let you rent clothes in case you reach unprepared or unaware about this. Many tourists like to take part in some of the Buddhist rituals with the monks. They are very welcoming and pray for tourists who want their blessings.
There is no admission fee walking up to the temple. If you visit the actual Tiger Cave Temple, a voluntary donation of 40 baht will be asked. The temples are open from 8 am to 5 pm. Actually, we have heard visitors even stay overnight at the summit. Try not to visit the temple during the middle of the day or early afternoon pertaining to the heat.
SAFETY ALERTS: Some of the stair risers are more than a foot (30cm) high approx. knee-high. Kindly take care of this in case of any knee problems. Wild monkeys roam the lower stairs and temple ground, tease them neither fed them cause occasionally there have been cases in which people are bitten and at times bitten badly and requires hospital treatment. Carry plenty of water for the hike. Use washroom at the ground as there is no such facility ahead on the hike.
The Cave Temple is a1260 steps to sacred Thai paradise, at an elevation of 278 meters above the ground. It comprises of beauty inside it and outside too. In the Temple complex statues of tiger, decorated skulls and a dragon sculpture and lots more are remarkable. Whereas at the top on the outside is a huge iconic Buddha statue and a spectacular panoramic view of the Khiriwong Valley and the Andaman Sea. If you are looking for a little detour from beach holidays and want a physical challenge trip then this a must go small hike trip.
Mystical forest adjoining the Temple is a “Wonderland Forest” with its huge sacred trees is another highlight. People get tired from the ascension and refrain from visiting this but this is a must-visit. The cave temple is a Thai Buddhist meditation centre and also a place of archaeological and historical significance. The place has a very soothing, warm and peaceful environment amongst the blue and green natural surroundings. Being an important place for monks lately it gained importance as a tourist attraction for visitors coming to Thailand.