Phetchaburi Travel Guide :
Khao Luang and Khao Bandai-It Caves
| Phetchaburi city is an ancient city in Thailand in the province of Phetchaburi. According to all the archaeological evidences that are available, it is estimated that the city of Phetchaburi has been in existence since Dvaravati era. However, during the Sukhothai and Ayutthaya periods, the city was very important as it was fortress that prevented Burmese attacks against the kingdoms.
There are many historical and natural sites to see in Phetchaburi. For those of you who love exploring caves, Khao Luang and Khao Bandai-it Caves in Phetchaburi is just what the doctor ordered. You can be sure that you will not get disappointed after visiting these caves.
Out of the two caves, Khao Luang is located north of Khao Wong. There is a staircase that leads from the foot of the hill right to the entrance of the cave. In the province, Khao Luang is considered an important cave because it houses the image of an ornamented Buddha. This image was built under the orders of King Rama V, who wanted to dedicate it to King Rama III and King Rama IV. During the reign of King Rama IV, the Khao Luang Cave was a regular haunt for royal picnics. The old images that were already in existence in the cave were renovated by King Rama IV.
In contrast, Khao Bandai-it is a hill on whose peak there is an old monastery on the peak named Wat Khao Bandai. This hill has many caves and some of them are quite huge. The most popular caves on the hill are Tham Prathum, Tham Phra Chao Sua and Tham Phra Phutta Saiyat. The Tham Prathum has a Buddha image inside, while Tham Phra Chao Sua gets its name from King Sua who visited the cave and then enshrined a standing image of Lord Buddha in the cave. The image was an offering to the king's teacher Abbot Saeng. Even today, the image is still enshrined in Tham Phra Chao Sua. In Tham Phra Phutta Saiyat, you can see a reclining Buddha image.