This trip was accidentally trip during my vacation at my hometown, Kalasin (north-eastern province of Thailand). The idea was I want to stop to see some attractive place to snap a few photos and catch some nice feeling during my way back from hometown to Bangkok (to resume to work) for just an hour, but it must not too far from main road between Kalasin to Bangkok. Hence, I had Googled it and found that the most convenient place is Phimai Historical Park (Common name : Phimai Stone Sanctuary, Thai : ปราสาทหินพิมาย) because it is just 12 km from main road.
The map between Kalasin to Bangkok and Phimai Historical park is on the way
After decide to have a stop at Phimai Historical park, on the day back to Bangkok, it was sunny Sunday, I left from Kalasin since 9.00am. I took about 3 hours and quarter to reach Phimai Historical park which is located in the heart of Phimai district, Nakronratchsima (Korat) province. it has parking area in front of the main entrance. The entrance fee is 10 THB (0.35 USD) for Thai citizen and 40 THB (1.2 USD) for foreigner. But when I visited, it was in mourning period for King Rama IX. All archaeological sites in Thailand had not collected entrance fee for all visitors to give a royal charity to The king Rama IX.
The main entrance of Phimai Historical park
After park the car, as I told, I had only an hour to spend here due to I had to continue driving to Bangkok. Thus, I quickly entry the main gate to the “target” immediately.
When I passed through the main gate, I suddenly felt the world surround me is changed to back me in time to the ancient world. The pictures in my eyes were looked fantastic and beautiful. The environment around the ancient ruined building was well maintained and looked perfect with green yards and big trees.
The view of historical park after pass through the main gate
In front Phimai historical park in panorama view
The center of Phimai historical park in panorama view
Internal map of Phimai Historical Park
Phimai historical park is the one of the most important Khmer temples (Traditional Cambodian stlye temple) of Thailand. It was built since 11th – 12th century by King Suryavarman I (the king of Khmer empire) to be the worship temple accordingly Brahminism faith. At that time, Phimai district was the one part of Khmer empire. The historical park has 1,000 meters length and 600 meters width. It contains some of the finest examples of Khmer architecture in Thailand. The main structures of Phimai sanctuary are including;
Phlab Phla Pleuang Khreung (Thai : พลับพลาเปลื้องเครื่อง) what is located at outside of main wall, left hand side before entry the sanctuary. It was the rest area for the king or pretensions when the temple has Religious ceremony
Outside view of Phlab Phla Pleuang Khreung
Interior of Phlab Phla Pleuang Khreung
Naga bridge (Thai : สะพานนาค, Naga is Thai/Cambodian language what means serpent) what is located at the entrance of main buidling. The rail bridge is built in form of serpent with 31.70 meters length. The head of rail bridge is designed as 7 heads serpent. This bridge was built according to Hindunism/Mahayana bussism faiths as it is the connection between world and heaven.
In front of Naga Bridge
The head of Naga bridge what was designed as 7 – heads Serpent
🙂 Selfie with Naga Bridge 🙂
Passageway (Thai : ชาลาทางเดิน) what is the connection between southern gate and Arched gareways. It was built by sandstone what is 1 meter elevated. The passageway has 3 channels.
The Passage way
Arched Gareways and Gallery (Thai : ซุ้มประตูและระเบียงคด) what is elevated sandstone building and surrounded all 4 sides of the main pagoda. The location of Arched Gareways and Gallery is synonymous with the main city gate and the entrance of main pagoda.
View of Arched Gareways and Gallery from outside the sanctuary
The garden with huge tree near to Arched Gareways and Gallery, at the innermost of historical park
The main pagoda (Thai : ปราสาทประธาน) what is the most important point of this historical park. It is huge sand stone castle which is facing to the south. it is difference from another ancient Khmer castle what is normally facing to the east. Inside the pagoda had decored with Bhaminism/Hindunism architectures and sculptures.
The main pagoda in front view
The main pagoda from far away view (from the innermost of Historical park)
The Buddha with 7-heads serpent inside the main pagoda
The small pagodas around the main pagoda and sculpture inside the one small pagoda
I took about 40 minutes to walk and see around all area of the historical park. Actually, it not too big. Only an hour is sufficient to see every importance point and absorb the ancient Khmer sanctuary atmosphere. I can say that that day was such an one of good Sunday I had. Even it was a short time but it really was the time for soothing the peacefulness and escaping from chaotic city what I had to found every day in capital city. And, I was one of my exploration date as this place is not far from my hometown and heard the name of this place since I was a kid but I never visit it before. It was the one of great day in my life actually.
SHIPY SIWARIT TIASUWATTISETH : Writer