temple run: the last crusade

Dearest ______,

I’d already gotten quite far in telling you all about our short temple run last year in the Kanchanaburi province of Thailand.

The last crusade before our flight out was at a 200- year old temple carved unto a mountain.

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At the bottom of these high stairs leading up to the temple, we saw uniquely designed miniature monuments that we soon realized were grave stones. These probably belonged to the many devout supporters of the shrine above.

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I was completely being literal when I said that this particular temple was carved unto a mountain. As you may see, the passage all the way to the top was as jagged and as irregularly- shaped as the mountain itself.

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Not for the claustrophobic, I reckon.

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At the top, there were a few more gravestones. This time they belonged to the monks who had previously served the temple but had already gone on to their next lives’ missions. One such chamber (a 1 meter by 2 rectangular structure that had a small peephole) housed what the locals said was a 100- year old body which had not yet decomposed. It was supposed to belong to one of the most enlightened monks of that temple.

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It was too dark inside though, we couldn’t see anything from the peephole. Not that I wanted to really see something, to be honest.

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To cap off this short pilgrimage of sorts, the presiding monk spoke to our Thai friend at length (blessed our journey, by the little translation that I gathered) and gave each of us these clay amulets made by people who lived within the temple grounds.

At the bottom of the long staircase down, we looked up and saw bells.
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Love,
Karlita

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Photography and text by Author unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.

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