The Gua Charah (Charah Caves) complex, along the Sg. Lembing Road about 25 kilometers away from Kuantan is hidden in the hills surrounded by the Pancing Plantations. About 1,000 meters above sea level, the complex is believed to be a site of early human settlement that dates back to prehistoric times.
Eight separate caves make up the Gua Charah complex that spreads over an area of 92 hectares. One of them, Gua Buddha or Gua Gelap, is home to an 8.1 meter long statue of reclining Buddha. It was discovered by a monk named Tham Achran Sakatapunya in the 1950s. the others are Gua Batu Nesan Raja, Gua Pecah, Gua Gajah, Gua Tiga Beradik, Gua Puteri Bersikat, Gua Lubang Dalam and Gua Lubang Hidung.
Gua Gelap is open to the public since 1972. Apart from the famous statue of reclining Buddha, the rock hills that house the cave resemble a bearded man, a couple with a child, and an eagle. These rock formations are believed to be landmarks that provide useful guides to sailors plying the area.
Gua Charah is still surrounded by mysteries. Apart from the complex's unresolved origins, a mysterious 2-meter wide tunnel was recently discovered. Estimated to be between four to five kilometers long, the tunnel connects the cave to Bukit Pecah Batu.