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Elephant gate

 

Elephant gate
Elephant gate
Elephant gate

These are gates with the figures of elephants at both sides. Elephant Gate can be found turning from the ring road to the road number 4170, heading towards the sea and passing through the Taling Ngam area. By the way, in this very area there used to live a much respected monk Luang Por Daeng, nowadays known as the "Mummified Monk".

The story of the Elephant Gate on Samui began in 1979, when Pra-kru Pairoj Kiriwong - a monk from the local temple Wat Kiri Wongkaram (by the way in this temple there is also a mummified monk - probably the most little-known one on the island) suggested to decorate the entrance to the village of Taling Ngam in order to attract the attention of tourists. He wanted to invite people to relax at the coastal cafe, from where you can see a wonderful sunset, or buy souvenirs. The monk with the support of the villagers began the construction of the gate, in which instead of the pillars there were life-size statues of elephants..

The story of the construction of such unusual gates reached the President of Bangkok Airways, who told it to the sister of His Majesty the King of Thailand Rama IX - Princess Galyani Vadhana and invited her to visit the Taling Ngam village to give a royal blessing to the elephant gate and to the entire village. After learning about the upcoming visit of the royal family the villagers raised funds and made elephants eyes of precious stones. After the princess' blessing these stones were attached to the elephants eye sockets and the construction of the gates was completed..

After this visit there came a belief that everyone who passes through this gate and looks into the eyes of the elephants also receives the blessing of the princess. It attracted to Taling Ngam a considerable flow of tourist as well as people from other areas of Koh Samui. Thirty years later the gates needed an overhaul. As before, the funds for the repair were collected by the locals. However, a year before the restoration work began (in January 2008) the Princess Galyani Vadhana had died, and in deference to her the eyes made of precious stones have been removed and replaced with paint. The local council decided to replace it back with gems only after one of the members of the royal family comes to Samui and blesses these stones.

How to find Elefant Gate on Koh Samui?

Google coordinate: 9.456891,99.943209


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