Steve Martaindale

Author of the JP Weiscarver Mystery Series

11. Tiger Cave Temple

mountaintop-buddha

Thailand is 93 percent Buddhist and there are temples of varying magnitude scattered around the country.

One major site, near Krabi Town, is the Tiger Cave Temple, which receives a large number of devotees and tourists. One of the attractions is the climb of 1,237 steps to a special mountaintop temple. While it’s every bit as arduous as it sounds, in the tropical climate, at least it’s all concrete steps with hand railings.

Where the slope is steep, the rise in the steps can be quite a reach and the depth of the steps rather short, but it’s still … wait, let’s do the math. If you have 20 steps per floor (seems reasonable, but feel free to correct me), that would be the equivalent of 61.85 stories!

What? I’m sure glad we didn’t calculate that before starting out on our climb.

I’m going to finish this out with photos because there was a lot I did not understand about the temple itself, but it was picturesque.

Before new temple

Leah and I before the new temple at the base of the mountain. This is not to be confused with the mountaintop temple pictured above.

Tukata at Tiger Temple

Tukata at one of the many shrines around the temple.

Dragon

Dragon guarding a temple door.

 

The beginning

The beginning of the temple climb. Notice the guy coming down is smiling.

Step No. 248

The steps were conveniently numbered. More than once, I heard someone say, “Is that all?”

Stupas at Tiger Cave Temple

Stupas such as these, in different sizes, are found all along the climb. Supposedly, each contains the ashes of a deceased monk and its elevation on the mountain is an indication of his status.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smiling climbers

Leah and Tukata get a head start on the next section after a break in a rest area. Note the stupa in front of them.

Swallowed by the cave

There were also several caves on the temple grounds. The name of the temple came from a monk who came across a tiger in a cave while he was seeking a place of solitude.

Even monks have chores

One of my favorites, in spite of the low-light, low-res quality. Yes, even monks must perform chores.

A most welcome sign

We’ll return to the climb for the final shot. We all carried water, but it wasn’t enough. We were tickled to see this when we reached the top.

 

return-to-index

 

 

 

butterfly

Proceed to 12. Kho Lanta

 

 

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