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A narration of Chompon Cave

 
 

          Chompon cave is located at Chombueng District Amphur Chombueng in the area of Botanary Park of Chompon next ot Muban Chombueng Rajabhat University. It is about 30 kilometers from the city of Ratchaburi.

Chompon cave has a former name as Mujalin Cave.

          Sirin Luelamai and Amporn Atsanasuwan (2004) said that the former name was related to the Buddha history. Pe4ople believed that there was a big pond where the serpent a big pond where the serpent lived. Accordingly, the name Mujalin was from this background. Around that pond there were the genius Barringtonia. (Jig Phants)

By Assistant Professor Arporn Sunthornwat

 

The Kings and Chompon Cave

        Chompon cave has been one of the important Ratchaburi tourist attractions. In the past, several kings visited the cave such as King Rama I, King RamaVI, king Rama IX and the Royal Crown Prince. The prince saw the notebook recorded about King Rama V visiting the cave in the middle of the city at Chombueng district.

        There was a big wamp which is about 800 sen or 1,600 metres from the city of chombueng. Near the wamp, there was a hill about 185 metres. It was called Khao Klang Mueng (the hill in the middle of the city) In the year of Ratanakosin Period (114) or 1895, King Rama V and the Queen visited the cave and gave the name as Chompon Cave. (Praya Kathabordee jang Wang To, 1925, P. 156 – 157)

 
 
        Amporn Artsanasuwan told about Chompon Cave that the name of the cave was given by King Rama V. It was recorded that on December 20, 114, first, the King and the Queen stopped at the monk resting place in the morning . Then, The King, the queen and the king’s brother continued the trip to the hill in the middle of the city. The King and the other ate breakfast and after that the king walked up the hill. He wanted to show that he had been there before. He, then, wroth J.P.R., the initial of King Rama V ’s name the number 114 referred to the year of his visit. The king also had his picture taken at the entrance of the cave (Surin Luelamai, 1999, page 24)
 

 
          The signature of King Rama I (J.P.R. 114/1895) was sculptured at the entrance of Chompon cave. The picture when the king was sitting on a stretcher at the entrance of the cave and the picture while the king was having breakfast among his brothers : Prince Pitsanulokprachanart, Prince Lopburiamet, Prince Panupantha – wongworadet, Pince Khunsri Thamarajdamronrit, Earls Sapasrtsupakit, Earl Ratchaburidirekrit and the king’s servants
 

 
King Rama V had a picture taken with the followers
at the entrance of Chompon Cave on December 20, 1895.
 

          King Rama VI visited Chompon Cave on January 24, 1914 with a group of pseudo – military. In Chombueng legend about the opening ceremony of Amphur Chombueng Office on March 12, 1999. It was recorded that the king stayed over night at Dan Tabtakoe on January 24, 2004. The group passed Huay Tachang, Nong Fan and on the chair carriage to Chombung. The arrival time was 5.20 p.m. The King visited Chompon Cave. (Surin Luelamai, 1999, p.31)



          King Rama IX visited Chompon Cave on June 1,1998. Amporn Artsuwan gave part of this interview in October 1956 that he was in the position of the Botanary Park Chief. He also took part in welcoming the present king to Chompon Cave. This visit, there were the queen, the king’s mother, the crown prince and the princesses. The king put his initial P.P.R. June, 41956 on the stone in front of Chompon Cave. Then, all went inside the cave and had lunch in the large hall in front of the cliff named Par wijit. There had been some special decoration with light for this royal welcome. For the first time. After visiting the cave, the king, the queen and the king’s mother grew some plants teak, cassia, and leguminosae in front of the cave.

 
 

The King’s Initial P.P.R. June 1956

The cliff inside the cave named “Parwijit”

 

          On July 21, 1977, the crown Prince visited and had lunch in the Botanary Park of Chompon cave when putting the first stone for the Crown Prince Hospital. The prince put his name Vajinalongkorn July 21, 1977 on the big stone near the entrance of the cave.


The Crown Prince’s Signature on July, 1977
on the stone near the entrance of the cave.
Chombueng Government Officers
had a picture taken with a Buddha statue
in the cave 1952 before.

 

The Lying Buddha Statue inside Chompon Cave

          Before 1952, the people in Chombueng started Songkran Festival at chompon Cave. At the time, there was no Buddha statue inside the cave for the people to sprinkle the spirit water during Songkran Festival. The Chombueng people invited the Buddha Statue from Khaolue Temple, Amphur Muang, Ratchaburi. Amporn Artsawan and Suria Luelamai said that the people at Wat Khaolue community and the Chombueng people had good relationship including the abbot of the temple Whenever Chombueng people went to the city of Ratchaburi to sell their products such as pickled bamboo shoots, fresh bamboo shoots and some dried fruit. They could stay over night at Khaolue Temple. When their children wanted to learn in the city of Ratchaburi, they could stay at the temple because it was not convenient to travel by cart.

          The Buddha Statue from Khaolue Temple was kept at the cave for a short period. Then, the officers from the Arts Department transferred the Buddha Statue to Mahathart Temple, Amphur Muang, Ratchaburi with the reason that the gate getting into the cave was not strong enough to protect such a valuable Buddha Statue. However, Chombueng people and the abbot named Wapeeworakun realized that it was necessary to have a Buddha statue for the people to do the religious activities such as during Songkran Festival. Accordingly, in the year 1952, the building of the lying Buddha statue had been started. The mechanics were from Thammasen District, Amphur Photharam. The abbot Koon controlled the constriction and the Chombueng people helped carrying sand and cement used in the constriction. It was a very hard work but finally, it was complete in the same year. After that the abbot of Chombueng Temple had set up the festival for 3 days every year. People would come to put the gold leaf on the lying Buddha Statue and there were different kinds of performances and activities. Not only the people in Chombueng but also the tourists have come to visit and respect the Buddha Statue since then.

 


 

The Lying Buddha Statue in Chompon cave

 

Pleug Puang Malai Performance in Chompon cave

          In 1952, the people in Chombueng set up Songkran festival at Chompon Cave. People could sprinkle the spirit water on the Buddha statues and the monks. There was also a performance for young men and young women to tease each other. Such a performance is called Pleng Puang Malai. It is an entertaining performance. (Ampor Artsuwan, March, 2004)

The Believes about Chompon Cave

          From the interview by Bamrung Artsuwan, in October, 2004. It was believed that there were some treasure of the serpent in the Chompon Cave. Once his mother dreamt that there were some treasure in the cave. So she went in the cave and found 3 pieces of gem, gold Buddha statue and pieces of gold in a big pot. However, his mother took only half of them home. Later, they were lost and mother thought father might have taken them. What left in the cave also disappeared.

          Another belief was about the monkeys living in the area of Chompon cave. In the past those monkeys were very wild. After building the lying Buddha statue, the abbot Koon built a place for the monks to eat and the food was given to the monkeys, too. As a result, the monkeys have learnt to come to people for food. The abbot Koon also announced that no one is allowed to kill the monkeys. Otherwise, there could be dangerous things happening. Nowadays, there are more and more monkeys. People and tourists are very kind to the monkeys.


The Belief on Drinking Fresh Water in the reservoir

          The “Prasit Dheva” in the area of Masyasatit Cave, the natural reservoir. People could use a glass or a bottle to take this spirit water to drink at home, Now, there is a little water, It is not enough for people to take some home.

Natural Beauty of Chompon Cave

          Chompon cave is 30 meters wide, 240 meters long and 25 meters high. When people want to get into the cave, they have to climb down the ladder Amporn Artsuwan, October, 1999 has been very familiar with the cave since he was young. He said that in the past people used to take the bats’ excretion to sell. At that time, there was nothing to keep the cave close. In rainy season, there would be water in the cave. Only people who were familiar with the cave could get in the cave when the others were afraid of big snakes and tigers. The people in the neighborhood could use a trap to catch a tiger which came to eat the people’s chickens. The tiger was about a metre long.

          Amporn Artsuwan mentioned about the stalactite and stalagmite. There used to be water along the roots of big trees on the mountain. The water passed the stalactite and the stalagmite. When they entered the cave, they used the torches and climbed up and down on the rocks because there was no ladders. When there were more people getting into the cave, the bamboo ladders were built for people to climb up and down. When King Rama V wanted to visit Chompon cave, The officers from Art Department went to survey to prepare the information for the king and decided to name the stalactite and stalacmite including the stalactite curtain and stalacmite sheet.

Than Sila with water
It is the reservoir to keep fresh water

Julakoohar : a small area for people to walk

Pichit Chon

Soiraya : the area of stalactite and the stalacmite In 1951, the stalactite and the stalacmite were not connected. Now, they are connected. It showed that there have been changes from water all the time.

 

 

Par wijit

          The fifth area called Par wijit which is the broad area with high ceiling with the stalactite and stalacmite as the beautiful background. It is the place where people can relax and see the beauty by looking out where the light can get into the cave to the tunnel of the cave. King Rama IX spent quite a long time and relaxed in the cave. The king also had lunch inside the cave with the utensils from the king palace. The lights were put up to decorate the cave. At Par wijit, the information about the beauty of this cliff which looked like the symbol of the marshall’s shoulder in King Rama IV. This was the part of the name of Chompon Cave given by King Rama V.
 

“Sae jamaree”
It’s the long and beautiful stalactite

Prasittheva
 
Tharn Naramit

          Tharn Naramit is the area of the chimney. When King Ram IX Visited, the name was not given. This area is the most bright area because the light can get into the cave through this chimney. The tourists like to see this light between 2 to 2:30 p.m. The light goes down to the floor and reflect to the lying Buddha statue which can create such a beautiful picture for the chimney area.

Matsayasatit Cave

          Matsayasatit Cave is the narrow and rather dark area when comparing to the other areas. Looking inside, the stalactite can be seen with a reservoir of fresh water. There are some small fish swimming in this basin of water. Which is called Prasitdheva. People liked to take some of the water in a glass or a bottle back home. Near this area on the right, there is a having stalactite called “Kesasaluay” which means pretty hair.
Kesa Saluay

Boromart is the area near the lying Buddha statue and the stalactite with a basin shape
 
Monkeys and their living is in the Chompon Cave Area

          The area of Chompon Cave and the Botanary Park area are the places where a lot of monkeys live. The increasing numbers of the monkeys sometimes annoy the people. However, the tourists and people from other provinces like to watch and feed the monkeys. Some of the monkeys are very smart. They know how to adjust themselves with the tourists and visitors.

Social Values

     1. In the past, Chompon cave was one of the important tourist attractions. When the king visited this cave, Chombueng People have been very proud. The King’s visit also made Chompon Cave the most important national tourist attraction.

     2. The botanary park area is the beautiful national area where people come to relax.

     3. Chompon cave and botanary park are the natural areas where people learn about the nature and the origin of the stalactite and stalacmite including the wildlife. There are various kinds of plants such as the hog plum, camachile tree, the emblic tree, the genus ficus, a tree of ebony family, a tree of fig family, the rain tree, genus Bauhina, a genus terminalia, genus melia, bamboo, banana trees etc. There are many kinds of animals such as squirrels, snakes, bats and more than 50 kinds of birds.

     4. Chompon cave is a place where people can set up a cultural festival every year. People from other places can come to respect the lying Budha Statue and watch various kinds of entertainments.


Monkey Behaviors at Chompon Cave


 

Surin Resume
Name : Surin Luelamai
Age : 67 years
Address : 385 Moo 3 Chombueng District Amphur Chombueng Ratchaburi 70150
Working Experience :
1950 : Be a teacher at an Elementary School at Amphur Chombueng Ratchaburi
1950 – 1981 : Be a teacher at Chumchon Elementary School
1981 – 1997 : Be the principal at Chumchon Elementry School

          Surin Luelamai
 

Amporn Resume
Name : Amporn Artsuwan
Age : 79 years
Address : 399 Moo 3 Chombueng District Amphur Chombueng Ratchaburi 700150
Working Experience :
1958 : Chief of Botanary Park at Chompon Cave Under the Forestry Department
1975 : Be a forestry officer at Amphur Chombueng Ratchaburi
1986 : Retirement

        Amporn Artsuwan

 

Bamrung Resume
Name : Bamrung Artsuwan
Age : 65 years
Address : 85 Moo 3 Chombueng District Amphur Chombung Ratchburi 70150
Working Experience :
1975 - 2000 : Be an officer of Botanary Park at Chompon Cave

        Bamrung Artsuwan

 
 
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