Phanom Rung Temple (Phanom Rung Historical Park) is one of the most impressive tourist attractions in North-east Thailand (Issan), and the best example of Khmer architecture in Thailand. Phanom Rung (see photos below) dates back to the 10th century A.D, the temple was dedicated to the Hindu deity “Shiva”. The style of Phanom Rung is very comparable to that of Angkor Wat, and in it’s own way it is no less impressive. Phanom Rung sits on the rim of an extinct volcano 400 metres above sea level, in a dominant but otherwise desolate location.
When you take in to account the sheer size of the site, the impressive paths and flights of steps and the stonework, you have to marvel at the achievement. This temple was built to last, it was not built from small manufactured bricks, but mainly crafted from stone. Time did take it’s toll though, and extensive restoration work was done in the 1970’s and 80’s, the most obvious signs of this are the many carved stones of Shiva and related Hindu deities which have been pieced together.
Thailand is “chock a block” with temples, and it’s fair to say Thailand is chock-a-block with tourist who have had their fill of temples, so I won’t bore you with oodles of gibberish about the ancient customs and history surrounding Phanom Rung, you can find all that via Google. I will simply leave you in peace and let you scroll down through the photos of Phanom Rung, a site of cultural and historical significance and “blah blah blah”, enjoy the photos.
I may just butt in now and then to add snippets of information between the photos, and of course one vital piece of information might be, where is Phanom Rung Temple, here’s a google map Phanom Rung.
Phanom Rung may not be the oldest Hindu temple in Thailand, but it is without question the best example, historically it is older than Angkor Wat. Other famous landmarks built in the same period include Westminster Hall, Winchester Cathedral, Tower of London and Canterbury Cathedral.