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Prasat Hin Phanom Rung--Travel Thailand Series

Updated on March 6, 2012
Front of Prasat Phanom Rung Temple
Front of Prasat Phanom Rung Temple | Source


Prasat Phanom Rung is an ancient Hindu temple ruins in the Buriram province of Thailand. Phanam Rung or "vnam rung" in Khmer language means "huge mountain". This Hindu shrine represents the home of the God Shiva. It is about 200 meters above the plains that lay below and it is built at the very top of a rim of a volcano. This would keep in accordance with the Hindu belief that the home of the Gods were found on high mountain tops. It was constructed and renovated several times during the 10th to 12th centuries. In the 13th century the King Jayavarnam VII of the ancient Khmer Empire turned to follow Mehayama Buddhism and the shrine took on Buddhist architecture.


The flat pathway with columns on both sides leading to one of the three "Naga bridges". Next, there are 52 steps leading to the top of the hill which links to the principal tower.
The flat pathway with columns on both sides leading to one of the three "Naga bridges". Next, there are 52 steps leading to the top of the hill which links to the principal tower. | Source
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While there are many fascinating facts about the lay out and structure of this ancient sandstone and laterite temple the feature that would perhaps stand out the most is the way the Sun's rays shine through the 15 doors and rooms of the Temple, one after another, from the east gopura to the west all in the same instant. This occurs four times a year with sunsets in March and October and sunrises in April and September.

The Phanom Rung Festival celebrates this breathtaking phenomenom yearly in April, the fifth lunar month, on the 15th day of the waxing moon. Buriram Province and others believe that these are the purist and most intense rays of the sun and that they will burn away all evil things to ashes. This festival draws the largest crowd of visitors for the year.






Location where the Shiva Lingum would have been.
Location where the Shiva Lingum would have been. | Source

Centermost in the 15 doorways is where the bull cow Shiva Lingam, the most sacred religious object of the temple, was enshrined in its resting place facing the setting sun. The original Nandin is displayed at the Phimai Museum in Phimai. (See map below.)


The ruined brick-towers seen from east.
The ruined brick-towers seen from east. | Source
A view of the temple showing the door guardian or Dvarapala;
A view of the temple showing the door guardian or Dvarapala; | Source
Sign in Thai and English describing the temple ruins history, etc.
Sign in Thai and English describing the temple ruins history, etc. | Source

Get Your Guidebook, Pics, and Camera Here

A
Phanom Rung Thailand:
Khao Phanom Rung, Ta Pek, Chaloem Phra Kiat, Buri Ram 31110, Thailand

get directions

Phanom Rung Historical Park, Burium Province, Thailand

B
Bangkok Thailand:
Bangkok, Thailand

get directions

C
Phimai Museum Thailand:
Phimai National Museum, Nai Mueang, Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima 30110, Thailand

get directions

Museum contains artifacts of the lower Northeast Thailand region including the Shiva Lingum, sacred object that was from Prasat Phanom Rung.

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    • profile image

      Rob Holmes 7 

      7 years ago

      this place is amazing certainly Thailands answer to Stonehenge with the astronomical alignments - the viewpoint from the top of the hill is worth the visti alone but the temple is pretty special, Buriram itself is booming see http://buriramtimes.com/buriram-information.html - I'd definately recommend a visit - but advise to get a four by four or decently powered car at least as the road up is steep!

    • E Jay profile imageAUTHOR

      E Jay 

      9 years ago from Colorado Springs, Colorado

      Your comment adds so much and thank you so much for your personal observations. I have stayed many times in the nearby town of Buriram at the Tepnakorn.

    • Simba73 profile image

      Jon 

      9 years ago from UK

      I absolutely love this place and will miss it for the rest of my life, I have lived at the foot of the sleeping volcano it is built on, and have come to love so many of the people in the area, I have prayed at the temple made offering there and have always been amazing by the effort it took to build as the stone comes from miles away, can't remember how far but enough to impress anyway, sadly I have broken up with my wife from this amazing location and my dreams of ending my days at our home at the foot of this place are now just dreams, despite my pain and bitterness could not advise people strongly enough to visit this beautiful place and although at the moment the infrastructure is not ready for large scale tourism , what it lacks in western comfort it more than makes up with hospitality,

      this I fear will change quickly over the next ten years as a lot of money is now flooding in to this area and it will lose much of it's charm, so get there quick.

      Simba

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