Written by London Swaminathan 


Date: 11 May 2018


Time uploaded in London – 19-47 am (British Summer Time)


Post No. 5000


Pictures shown here are taken from various sources such as Facebook friends, Books, Google and newspapers; thanks. Pictures may be subject to copyright laws.




There is a beautiful temple in Thailand looking like Angkor Wat temple but it is not as famous as Angkor Wat temple of Cambodia or Borobudur temple of Java, Indonesia. Only now Thailand has renovated and protected the temple. There are lot broken statues. It is a Hindu Temple with Shiva, Vishnu and Nataraja.


Where is it in Thailand?

It is located in the Buriram ( Ram Puri) province of Thailand.

What is it called?

Phanom Rung Temple; and the full name is Prasat Hin Phanom Rung

How old is the temple?

The construction started around 10th century and finished around 13th century.

Why is it famous now?

It is constructed in the Khmer style like the world-famous Angkor Wat temple.


What are the wonders there?

On the Tamil New Year Day (13, 14 April), the sun light travels through all the 15 gates of the temple. A big festival is held annually to coincide with the important date in solar calendar. The sun enters the Mesha Rasi in the month of Chitra. Dance, music and colourful procession form part of the celebrations.

What can we see there?

Vishnu Shiva, Nataraja, Vedic Gods Indra, Agni, Varuna, Brahma, Shiva and others. Ramayana sculptures are remarkable.

Is it same like India?

No. That is where the interesting details are>

Sanskrit scholar of Delhi University Sathya Vrat Shastri  gives the following information in his book on Thailand:-

It is built of sand stone.

There is a carving of two five headed Nagas (Snakes ) held by hands. This helps to compare it with the same statues in Cambodia which are dated around 957 CE.

One of the goddesses is Brahmi carved out of yellow sandstone with four heads.

The main Prang (tower) has interesting stone carvings. The garble on the porch in the eastern side has a massive figure of Nataraja. On the southern side a Rsi (ascetic) in happy mood.


Jatayu fighting with Ravana at Sita’s abduction.

Killing of Marica in the deer disguise.

Man shooting an arrow (partly broken; may be Rama)

Abduction of Sita

Rama returning to Ayodhya on Horse back!

Briging of Indrajit’s head to Mandodari, Wife of Ravana.

Mandodari’s palace with two parrots.

This shows that Ramayana has influenced the South Asian countries more than the Mahabharata.


Apart from the Ramayana scenes, we see Narasimha killing Hiranyakasyap, Krishna killing Kamsa etc.


The portrayal of Vedic gods in eight directions is more interesting because it differs widely from Indian sculptures: –

Vedic God Indra is on one headed Airavata. In other countries, we see Four headed Airawata, the white elephant.

Agni is on Rhinoceros!

Agni is on Rhino; in India Agni’s Vahana is a goat.

Varuna is shown on a five hooded Naga; in India Varuna is on a crocodile.

Kubera on lion is also a strange depiction; he always travels on the back of a Yaksha.

Isana is shown on a bull with three swans/hamsas.

Though these statues should occupy different directions, they are lying separately. May be they are part of wooden pillars which might have become rotten in course of time.

All the statues have different jewels, dress, flower motifs etc. Now the Thai authorities have made it a protected monument and an entrance fee is fixed. Thai government has released stamps featuring the monuments. The April festival attracts a good number of tourists.

Many people outside Thailand don’t know that a big Hindu temple exists in Thailand.


(Pictures are taken from Wikipedia and google)



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