Tham Fa Tho hermitage, (near) Ratchaburi, Ratchaburi, TH

Raw data

"Ratchaburi […] a glorious town during the Dvaravati period, is located on the bank of the Mae Klong River. […] It is located 80 kilometres west of Bangkok and borders on Myanmar to the west having the Tanaosi Range as a borderline. […]"

"The earliest known use of caves by Buddhists in Thailand dates back to at least the 6th to 7th centuries A.D. with Roesi, Fa Tho, Chin and Cham caves on Khao Ngu mountain, and Narai cave in Phra Puttha Bat district (Munier 1998:34)." (cited in Sponsel 2009).

Tham Fa Tho - "Tham Fa Tho RB0008
47P 583861 1500841 Khao Ngu, Ko Phlapphla Length: 50 m
Located at the southern end of the Khao Ngu range, 7 km west of Ratchaburi. Tham Fa Tho is near the top of the hill.
This is the smallest of the Khao Ngu caves. The cave is a corridor 3 to 4 m high, about 3 m wide and the main part is 12 m long. There is an 8.2 m long reclining Buddha carved in situ on the left side as one enters the cave. This dates to the Dvaravati period and the Buddha was covered with stucco. Only fragments of the halo remain today, along with parts of the Sala tree. There is also a bas-relief of three worshippers, 2.6 m, 2.3 m and 1.5 m high, carved at the same level as the Buddha's head, on the right side of the entrance. The cave was closed by a wall decorated with ceramics during the late Ayutthaya-early bangkok period and the worshippers appeared when the wall was removed in 1975. […]" Ellis (2012)
Input by: tmciolek Oct 01 2013

Final data (and their sources)

Last updated: 01 Oct 2013

Lat/Long coordinates' accuracy:
The monastery in question is assumed to be situated actually no farther than 200 m from the point defined by the coordinates below.

Location of Tham Fa Tho hermitage, TH.

General location of the Tham Fa Tho hermitage, TH.
Lat 13.57495 Long 99.77488
Mapping & images: Falling Rain Genomics (, 2013.

Google Map link:,%20TH)&ll=13.57495,99.77488&spn=05.0,05.0&t=k&hl=en

Final data - explanatory notes

1. Monastery's name

  • Tham Fa Tho hermitage

2. Monastery's modern country & province

  • Thailand:Changwat Ratchaburi

3. Monastery's alternative/historical names

  • [missing data]

4. Monastery's lat/long coordinates

  • Approx. Lat 13.57495 Long 99.77488 - based on visual identification of the Tham Fa Tho site in maps/satellite imagery & Panoramio photographs, - tmciolek, 02 Oct 2013.

5. Other known nearby Buddhist monasteries

6. Modern name of the known nearest city, town, or village

7. The settlement's alternative/historical names

8. The settlement's coordinates

9. Monastery's major Buddhist tradition

  • Theravada?

10. Monastery's Buddhist sub-tradition

  • [missing data]

11. Date-early

  • The cave was in use at least in the 6th to 7th centuries A.D, if not earlier (Munier 1998:34, cited in Sponsel 2009)

MBM chrono-tag 0500-32p 0533-66p 0567-99p 0600-32p 0633-66p 0667-99p - tmciolek 02 Oct 2013
0500-32p 0533-66p 0567-99p 0600-32p 0633-66p 0667-99p dated-e

12. Date-intermediate

  • [missing data]

13. Date-late

  • [missing data]

14. Details of contacts with other monasteries

  • [missing data]

15. Type of evidence regarding the monastery

  • [missing data]

16. Additional notes

  • [missing data] (incl. details of the size of the monastic population)

17. Corrections & addenda to this page were kindly provided by

  • [missing data]

18. Known monks and nuns associated with this monastery

19. Available Printed Literature

  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 1]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 2]
  • [bibliographical details of the Book/Article 3]

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