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Wat Tham Ta Pan Hell Garden-Phang Nga

A collection of images from my visit to this strange and surreal Wat, very similar to the one in Korat I visited, Wat Pa Lak Roi, which was my first introduction to Buddhist Hell Gardens.
The images leave nothing to the imagination.

Wat Tham Ta Pan in Phang Nga Town is one of the weirdest original temples in southern Thailand. Located around 100 km northeast of Phuket, the site offers a journey through Buddhist Heaven and Hell.

At first sight, the temple looks a bit abandoned and decrepit, which simply adds to the eeriness of the place. You’ll see a fountain at the entrance, where there are 5 sculptures of monks. Each holds a bowl that represents wealth, beauty, happiness, cleverness, and health. Try throwing a coin in the bowl of your choice. If you succeed in landing one in, your wish will come true.

Heaven Cave
Right next to a small shop, there's a huge Chinese dragon with a wide-open mouth waiting for you to enter. This is the beginning of your ‘journey’ through representations of Buddhist Heaven and Hell. The inside of the dragon has a long and dark tunnel, with just a few tiny windows lighting your path.

At the end of the tunnel, you'll find the entrance to a deep cave. Pray at the small shrine on your left before heading towards the Nirvana section, right at the end of the cave. It takes about a 10-minute walk along a dark track with bridges crossing a river to reach the end, which has 2 Buddha statues symbolising Heaven.

Buddhist Hell ('Naraka' in Sanskrit and 'Na Rok' in Thai) awaits you if you do not follow the 5 precepts of Buddhism during your life:

Abstain from taking life (thou shall not kill).
Abstain from taking what is not given (thou shall not steal).
Abstain from sexual misconduct (thou shall not commit adultery).
Abstain from false speech (thou shall not lie).
Abstain from fermented drink that causes heedlessness (eschew drunkenness).
A visit to Wat Tham Ta Pan can be a really scary experience, so it isn't recommended for young children. Scenes showing torture applied to sinners are vivid and straightforward, leaving no space to the imagination.
An area behind these buildings offers a walk up a cliff through a garden dotted with statues of animals. The cliff displays sculptures and representations of Indian deities, such as Ganesh and Akhilandeshvari.

Wat Tham Ta Pan is a one-of-a-kind temple that's well worth a visit, simply due to its weird originality.

Music free under creative commons licence from YouTube Music Library
Title: Mist- by Odonis Odonis

Posted by TheJohnsons 06:31 Archived in Thailand Tagged nature temple religion statue skeleton tree meditation no sculpture light buddha forest practice meal quite sitting prayer health eat hungry phang nga fasting baptism casting thin Comments (0)

Tiger Cave Temple or Wat Tham Sua

One of the interesting places I visit during my summer break, down in Krabi. The walk up the stairs (1,237 steps) to the big Buddha footprint, was beyond me at the time of day we arrived, as it was beyond hot, pending the tropical storm heading our way some few hours later.

I am impressed with the Canon M5, considering the bright overhead cloud, and deep shadows from the casts, it managed the contrasts and managed to maintain details remarkably well. All images are pretty much as I took them, except for dropping the highlights in some of the brighter sky ones.

Posted by TheJohnsons 20:36 Archived in Thailand Tagged art sky architecture sunset view landscape culture temple religion travel statue mountain thailand buddhism blue golden krabi sunrise building cave sun sculpture day wat place buddha pagoda big high sacred destinations buddhist tiger asian asia thai gold tourism samui god landmark metal outdoors sitting worship buddist zen large tham seua Comments (0)

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