Phanom Rung historical park, located in Buri Ram province, is the largest and the most beautiful Khmer site in Thailand. Built on the top of a volcanic hill at an altitude of 1257 feet, this amazing monument offers a delightful experience to its visitors. Phanom Rung historical park is built in the 12th century and is dedicated to Lord Shiva, a Hindu deity. The architectural design of this complex resembles Mount Kailasa of India. With its magnificent elegance and authoritative charm, the park is undoubtedly an inevitable element in the itinerary of every tourist visiting Ubon Ratchathani, Isaan and Thailand.
History of the park
Looking at the history of Phanom Rung historical park and the ancient richness in the architecture, it is evident that this site is worth being a world heritage site. Prasat Him Phanom Rung is the actual name of this historical park and is located in Chalerm Phrakiat district of Buri Ram province. The construction of this temple complex is carried through 3 centuries, starting from 10th century and up to 13th century. The majority of the construction took place during the reign of King Suriyavarman II, following Angkor architecture, while some of the portion is built between 16th and 18th century during the Buddhist reign. One common thing about most of the khmer sites is that they face the eastern side and phanum rung is not excluded. Right from the 13th century, Phanom Rung Historical Park is enthralling visitors with its vivid architecture and gorgeous elegance. In 1971, the Thai government, with the help of Thailand’s department of fine arts, worked hard for 17 years on the restoration process and revamped its architectural marvel. This historical site was submitted to UNESCO to be listed as the world heritage site.
The temple complex of Phanom Rung historical park is built using Laterite and Sand stone. It consists of 3 naga bridges. Going through the walkway, visitors can reach the first naga bridge. There are 70 sand stone posts on either side of the walkway. The third naga bridge takes the visitors to the main sanctuary. A striking feature of this architecture marvel is that the sun rays strike through all 15 doorways, 4 times a year. This phenomenon occurs at the morning sunrise sometime around the first week of March and September and during the sunset of the first week of April and October. This phenomenon occurs prior to the actual schedule on leap years. The visiting hours of the Phanom Rung historical park are extended during these special days. Planning a visit during these times would be a delight to explore.
Another important occasion at Phanom Rung National Park is the Climbing Khao festival. This is celebrated with great enthusiasm on the first Saturday of April, every year, remembering the restoration of this heritage site. A procession is taken to the top of the hill during the morning time and late in the night, visitors get to watch dramas and dances along with some light shows.