Thai monk rescued after cave diving

Thailand

Rescuers took 10 hours to rescue a young Buddhist cleric from a remote mountain cave

Wat Tham Sua, a Buddhist temple in the Thai province of Kanchanaburi. (Photo provided)

A Buddhist monk who fell 50 meters into a mountain cave in central Thailand where he planned to meditate has been rescued after a 10-hour rescue mission.

The 29-year-old monk traveled from his monastery in Bangkok to a mountain cave in Kanchanaburi province on March 5 with the aim of meditating in isolation, but on his way down a rope ladder broke , causing him to plummet to the stone floor of the cave.

The Buddhist cleric suffered serious injuries to his hips and both legs, but survived the fall.


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Rescuers took 10 hours to reach him and get him out of the cave safely before he was rushed to hospital for treatment.

The mountain cave Khao Kluk Klee has long been popular with monks and nuns who seek to retreat there to meditate in quiet and achieve inner peace.

According to a Buddhist belief, meditating alone in a natural place like a cave can help practitioners achieve a higher state of spirituality on their path to enlightenment.

The monk died of severe injuries, which villagers say were inflicted on him by a wild elephant that passed him while he was meditating.

However, meditating in remote places in Thailand is not without its dangers.

In January 2020, a 33-year-old monk from the southern province of Nakhon Sri Thammarat was found dead at the foot of a long slope inside a cave, considered holy ground by local Buddhists.

His body was discovered by his fellow monks who were also inside the cave at the time and heard a loud bang. They decided to see what had caused the noise, only to see him lying face down after apparently falling off a rocky platform and plunging 18 meters to his death.

In November of the same year, a 21-year-old Buddhist monk was found dead by villagers on a mountain in the northeastern province of Kamphaeng Phet where he had just retired at dawn to immerse himself in meditation.

The monk died of severe injuries, which villagers say were inflicted on him by a wild elephant that passed him while he was meditating.

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