Phanom Rung Historical Park

If the temple of Angkor Wat is the ultimate and starting point of Angkor’s architectural culture, the Phanom Rung Historical Park is the end of the heyday of the Khmer empire. In the 14th century, the newly rising Siamese army invaded Angkor, and the Khmer empire perished. The vicissitudes of history change into a blend of Khmer empire from Hindu culture to Buddhist culture.

Phanom Rung Historical Park is a historical and cultural protection area with Phanom Temple as the core. It is located on the top of an extinct volcanic mountain at 383 meters above sea level in Buriram. The Shinto design of the Phanom Temple follows the mountain trend and adopts a sinking layout, so that the planar main building is three-dimensional, with clear layers, broad vision and magnificent momentum. On both sides, there are sandstone pillars that are carved with lotus buds in the early Khmer style. Looking towards the end of the mountain, you can see the Phanom Rung Historical Park is just above the stone level.

The main body is composed of stone sand and red earth. Like most Khmer temples, Phanom Temple sits west to east because in Hinduism, the East means being auspicious. The carvings on the door lintel are particularly beautiful. This is a lying position of a flowering water lily on the belly button of Vishnu, and one of the flowers is sitting on the creation god Brahma. Shiva dances the dance of destruction. Shiva has the dual characters of reproduction and destruction, creation and destruction, and presents a variety of strange appearances, and various scenes come to life.

The stone carvings on the tower are mostly about myths about Shiva. The Khmer architecture at this time precipitated the excessive killing and war in Hinduism, and the more manifestation were the great tolerance and indifference of Buddhism. It is also the compassion of the Khmer Empire that has fought everywhere and converted to Mahayana Buddhism. The stone statue in front of the door is the quiet guardian of Khmer civilization that once flourished.

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