Photo: Wat Tham Phra Mae Ya.

Wat Tham Phra Mae Ya

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Fronted by sugarcane fields and backed by the Khao Luang range in a remote corner of Sukhothai, Wat Tham Phra Mae Ya is a cave temple that makes for an unusual break from the ruins.

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The Temple of the Sacred Medicine Woman’s Cave greets you with a large walking Buddha, seated Buddha and golden lotus-shaped chedi framed by the forested mountains; all of these were built over the past few decades to mimic the ancient Sukhothai style. We arrived to find a pair of novice monks playing in an open-sided wihaan featuring rudimentary yet poignant murals of the Buddha meditating and teaching in the forest.

Novice at Wat Tham Phra Mae Ya. Photo taken in or around Wat Tham Phra Mae Ya, Sukhothai, Thailand by David Luekens.

Novice at Wat Tham Phra Mae Ya. Photo: David Luekens

Cruise around the corner to find the entrance to the temple’s namesake cave, marked by a stairway with colourful nagas on either railing. Situated beneath a huge pancake-shaped boulder, the small cave enshrines an image of Phra Mae Ya, a local deity that’s been worshipped since the ... Travelfish members only (Full text is around 200 words.)

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