BUDDHA CAVES (THAM PA FA)
Located near Na Khang Xang Village in Thakhaek District, Tham Pa Fa Cave is named after Nong Pa Fa Lake (Lake of Soft-shelled Turtles) at the foot of the cliff. There are more than 200 Buddha statues ranging in height from 15 cm to over 1 meter.
In April 2004, a local villager by the name of Mr. Boun Nong entered the small cave opening 15m from ground level. He had noticed bats entering the cave and decided to climb a vine to investigate, with the intention of collecting bats. Mr Boun did not tell anyone in the village about his find for one week, as he thought it might be his imagination. After that, he returned with a group of nine villagers to investigate.
The information about Buddha cave soon spread, and it has since become one of Khammouane’s most visited attractions. According to historians, the Buddha images are a collection from the Sikhottabong and Lane Xang eras, and some are thought to be of Khmer and Vietnamese origin. Alongside the images are palm leaf manuscripts written in ancient Lao and Khmer scripts and Lane Xang, Lanna, and Pali dharma.
Although, it is unknown how these treasures came to be in the cave. The limestone formations within the cave are quite spectacular and add to its natural beauty. The villagers guard the cave and its sacred Buddha statues 24 hours a day.
There is a small entrance fee for visitors. Please note that photography is prohibited in this cave. Close to the cave are stalls selling snacks, drinks, seasonal fruits, and incense produced in Na Khang Xang Village.
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