Phanom Rung Historical Park

Prasat Hin Phanom Rung: A Majestic Khmer Site


Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is a grand and majestic Khmer site located in Ban Tapek, Tambon Ta Pek, thailand. This historical park is over a thousand years old and was built on an extinct volcano. Initially, it served as a Hindu religious site and later became a Buddhist one. Throughout the 15th-18th Buddhist century, several additions were made to Prasat Hin Phanom Rung, making it one of the most beautiful and meaningful examples of Lop Buri art in Thailand.

The Significance of Prasat Hin Phanom Rung

Prasat Hin Phanom Rung holds great historical and cultural significance. It is situated on top of an extinct volcano, 350 meters above sea level. The name “Phanom Rung” or “Vnam Rung” in the Khmer language means “a huge mountain.” This phrase appears in the Khmer inscription found at Prasat Hin Phanom Rung, indicating the name of the castle’s builder, “Narendrathit.” He was a descendant of the Mahidharpur dynasty and a relative of King Suryavarman II, the builder of Angkor Wat.

Dedicated to Lord Shiva

Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is dedicated to Lord Shiva, the supreme god in Hinduism. It serves as a symbol of the center of the universe and represents Mount Krailash, the residence of Lord Shiva. The sanctuary was built and renovated several times between the 10th and 13th centuries, showcasing the artistic and architectural prowess of the Khmer civilization.

Archaeological Sites within Phanom Rung Historical Park

The Phanom Rung Historical Park encompasses several archaeological sites that highlight the rich history and craftsmanship of the Khmer people.

1. The Lower Stairway of Prasat Hin Phanom Rung:
The lower stairway is made of laterite and features three landings that lead to a cross-shaped platform. It serves as an entrance to the main sanctuary and is an impressive architectural feat.

2. The Pavilion:
Located diagonally across from the cross-shaped platform, the Pavilion is a rectangular hall. It is believed to be the place where kings and nobilities purified themselves before entering the castle.

3. The Walkway and Naga Bridge:
The walkway leads down from the cross-shaped platform to the Naga Bridge. The Naga Bridge is adorned with 70 sandstone pillars topped with lotus buds, known as Sao Nang Riang. The bridge symbolizes the connection between earth and heaven and is a significant architectural element of Prasat Hin Phanom Rung.

4. The Upper Stairway:
The upper stairway leads up to the courtyard on the top of the hill. It provides access to the main sanctuary and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

5. The Courtyard:
The spacious open-air courtyard leads to the front of the cloister. It serves as a gathering space and offers visitors a glimpse into the grandeur of the Khmer architecture.

6. The Inner Sanctuaries:
The inner sanctuaries are decorated with intricate carvings of Hindu gods and scenes from the epic Ramayana. The rectangular sanctuary room dates back to the 12th century and features carvings such as the Gable of Sivanatraj, Narai Banthomsin Lintel, and Ramayana.

7. The Library “Bannalai”:
Established around the 13th century, the library is located in the southeast of the main tower. It served as a repository for sacred Hindu scriptures and is a testament to the intellectual and spiritual pursuits of the Khmer civilization.

8. The Fine Arts Department Restoration:
The Fine Arts Department has undertaken the restoration of Prasat Hin Phanom Rung using the Anastylosis technique. This technique involves disintegrating the stone blocks, reinforcing the base, and reassembling the pieces in their original places. The restoration work ensures the preservation of this historical site for future generations.


Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is a remarkable testament to the Khmer civilization’s artistic and architectural brilliance. This grand and majestic Khmer site showcases the fusion of Hindu and Buddhist influences throughout its history. Its strategic location on top of an extinct volcano adds to its allure and offers visitors breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. The meticulous restoration work by the Fine Arts Department ensures that future generations can appreciate and learn from this historical gem. A visit to Prasat Hin Phanom Rung is not only a journey through time but also an opportunity to immerse oneself in the rich cultural heritage of Thailand.

Address And Location:

Ta Pek Chaloem Phra Kiat Buri Ram 31110