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See Video highlights of Phanom Rung at bottom of page


Images of Phanom Rung and Muang Tam, Thailand

Prasaat Phanom Rung and Muang Tam are located in Buriram.
Prasaat Phanom Rung is one of the most significant Khmer monuments in Thailand. It was built in the 10th-13th century A.D. Phanom Rung was a Hindu Saivite (Shiva) monastery. Sculptures also present images of Vishnu. A processional way leads through Naga bridges to the main sanctuary. Lintels, pediments depict the Hindu Gods Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, with also scenes of the Ramayana. The most famous lintel (Vishnu Anantasayin) depicts Vishnu reclining on the back of the Naga King Ananta. This lintel disappeared for many years outside the country, but was recently returned.
The setting of Phanom Rung is quite scenic, with views of the countryside all around. The site is probably the most visited Khmer monument in Thailand. If you want it quieter, be sure to arrive before 10 A.M.
Muang Tam ('low city') is located nearby, and is worth a visit all by itself. Around its main structure, five 'brick' towers and ponds with lotus flowers are present. There is not much supervision and school children seem to use the area as a playing ground.
(some more info below)

More Khmer heritage : Visit Prasaat Phimai


View through door at Phanom Rung Castle View through Door at Phanom Rung
Road to Phanom Rung, Buriram Province
Entry Road to Phanom Rung
  Main Prang at Phanom Rung Sanctuary, Buriram
Main Temple Structure at Phanom Rung, Buriram
Naga Head at beginning of Stairs towards Phanom Rung
Phanom Rung : Naga Head on Stairs, leading to the Sanctuary
  Door guardian (Dvarapala)
Door guardian (Dvarapala) at Phanom Rung
Vishnu Anantasayin lintel
Vishnu Anantasayin Lintel, Phanom Rung Sanctuary

The Vishnu Anantasayin posture shows Vishnu declining on the serpent Ananta on the Ocean of Milk. Lakshmi, the consort of Vishnu is seated at this feet. You can also see Brahma arising from Vishnu's navel.
This famous lintel (of course, also because of its disappearance) disappeared from the site at Phanom Rung and was later found in America. It was returned to Phanom Rung and reinstalled in 1988

  Shiva Nataraya at Phanom Rung
Nataraja (Dancing Shiva) sculpture at Phanom Rung
Shiva Lingam at Phanom Rung Sanctuary
Shiva Lingam at Phanom Rung Sanctuary
  Nandi, the bull vehicle of Lord Shiva, Phanom Rung
Nandi(n), the Primary Vehicle of Shiva at Phanom Rung

The bull Nandi is Shiva's primary vehicle and is the principal follower of Shiva. Nandi is also Shiva's gatekeeper and therefore is present at the gate or entrance of many temples dedicated to Shiva.

Road down from Phanom Rung, Buriram, Thailand
Road down from Phanom Rung
  Muang Tam, Buriram Province, Thailand
Muang Tam, Buriram Province, Thailand
Inside Muang Tam, Buriram
Inside Muang Tam - Children use it as a nice playground
  Muang Tam, Buriram Province
Tower Structures at Muang Tam
Shiva and his consort Uma riding on the bull Nandin
Lintel at Muang Tam - Shiva and his consort Uma riding on Nandin
  View through door at Muang Tam, Buriram
View through a door at Muang Tam, Buriram
Pond at Muang Tam
Pond at Muang Tam, Buriram Province
  There is no major city located close to Phanom Rung. If you travel by yourself, you can reach the monument from Khorat, Buriram. Khorat is a reasonable location for daytrips to both Phanom Rung (with Muang Tam), and Phimai (on another day).
We visited Phanom Rung from Phimai, where at least one guesthouse (Phimai Old Guesthouse) organized daytrips by car at 1500 baht/car. Travelling the last few kilometers to Phanom Rung from the main road, and between Phanom Rung and Muang Tam, we advise you find car transport. You can pillion ride a motorcycle, but this is not for the fainthearted, since the road is somewhat hazardous (there are many curves, ascents and descents)
Recommended hotel in Khorat : SriPattana Hotel, close to nr.1 Bus Terminal.

 



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Content, including images, by Guido Vanhaleweyk, Bangkok.