The foundation of the temple dates back to 1975 (B. E. 2518) when a Vipassana monk named Jumnean Seelasettho (Ajahn Jumnean) went to meditate in the cave. During his meditation, he witnessed tigers roaming around the cave. This discovery led to naming the temple Wat Tham Suea. Another legend says that an actual huge tiger used to live and roam the cave. The naming of the temple also comes to discoveries of a tiger paw prints on the cave walls, and also the bulge of the cave resembling a tiger's paw.