Phanom Rum - History and Facts | History Hit

Phanom Rum

Buri Ram, Thailand

Peta Stamper

25 Aug 2021
Image Credit: Shutterstock

About Phanom Rum

Over 1,000 years old and built on the edge of an extinct volcano at 402 metres about sea-level, Phanom Rung is the best preserved and impressive Khmer Hindu temple complex in Thailand. The full name of the temple is Prasat Hin Phanom Rung, with ‘Prasat’ meaning palace or temple.

Constructed in the Khleang and Baphuon styles, the temple’s primary phases of construction to the late 10th and early 11th centuries. The primary deity was Shiva, and the building shape represents his heavenly residence, Mount Kailash.

Muang Tum history

Built in the Angkor style when large parts of Thailand were controlled by the Khmer empire, Phanom Rung is situated along an ancient road that connected Angkor Thom (present day Cambodia) to Phimai in the Nakhon Ratchasima province.

Phanom Rung was constructed over several phases which we can identify by the iconography of its art and architectural styles alongside inscriptions. These comprise two foundations of sacred brick buildings from 10th century AD, a small sanctuary from the 11th century, the central sanctuary built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in 12th century and a pair of libraries from the 13th century.

Muang Tum today

Today, you enter the site along a 160 metre-long processional walkway leading to the temple, with incredible views of the main tower. A pavilion on the right hand side of the walkway was built for the King to prepare himself for ceremonies in the temple. At the end of the walkway you reach the Naga Bridge, symbolising your passing from the earthly world into the world of the Gods…

The best time to visit is each year on 13 April, when the sun shines through all 15 portals of the temple. The park is open from dawn till dusk each day.

Getting to Muang Tum

Phanom Rung historical park is located in Buriram province in North East Thailand, about 50 kilometres south of Buriram town and best reached by car.

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