Lies at the foot of an extinct volcano in Buiram province in northeast of Thailand, near the Thailand and Cambodia border, Prasat Muang Tum is a 1,000 years old Khmer temple. Prasat means palace or temple. It was built as a Hindu temple for the worship of Shiva during the period when a large part of Thailand was under control of the Khmer empire. Another better known Khmer temple built in the same period called Phanom Rung is located near the site on the top of the mountain.
Prasat Muang Tum was built during the 10th to 11th century, in the mean while its more famous neighbor was constructed was well and it was abandoned two or three centuries later. Now, we can find some well-preserved Khmer architecture in the ruins of the temple. This site is in fact much quieter than its better known neighbor Phanom Rung, which makes it is very worthy of a visit.
Overview of Prasat Muang Tum
Like all other Khmer style temples, Prasat Muang Tum also has a lake which is in the north of the temple and it symbolizes the ocean surrounding Mt. Meru, the center of the universe in Hindu cosmology. The 1,000 meters long and 500 meters long water also served as a water reservoir.
Prasat Muang Tum is a rectangular temple complex and its surrounding wall was made of laterite. Every side of the wall has a gate in the middle and the gate in the eastern wall is the main entrance. When you enter the temple complex, you will find four ponds with steps leading to the bottom and large five headed stone made Naga serpents are standing at the corner of each pond. There are beautiful water lilies are floating on the water of the ponds.
The inner of the temple
There are broad walkways leading to the inner area enclosed by a rectangular gallery. The entrance gate in middle of every side of the gallery leads to the inner sanctuary where Hindu ceremonies once were held.
One thousand years old wonderful carvings on the lintels over the gate are still very clear showing the relief depictions of Shiva and other Hindu mythological figures.
There are five towers made from sand stone in the inner area of the temple and the central one is the tallest which was collapsed. It symbolizes the sacred Mt. Meru, the Hindu center of the universe. There is also a linga in the tower which represents the strength of Shiva. The inner sanctuary has a library, where the sacred Hindu scriptures were well kept.
As Prasat Muang Tum is very close to Phanom Rung which is much famous than Prasat Muang Tum. However, it is well worth a visit as it is much quieter than its neighbor. The ponds of the temple and the quiet settings create a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
How to get to Prasat Muang Tum
Prasat Muang Tum is located in the northeast province of Buriram, Thailand around 50km south to Buriram town, the provincial capital city. It is complicated to find the public transfer to get the site. You should take a local bus from Buriram town than change to a songthaew or motorbike taxi. For a much more comfortable way, you can hire a taxi for a day or join an organized tour or let UME Travel arrange a private tour for you.
Prasat Muang Tum opens daily from 6:00am to 6:00pm.
On weekend and Thai public holiday the site would get very busy Thai tourists so it is better to avoid these days.
Explore Thailand with UME Travel
These itineraries with some visits to the sacred the elegant Thai temples are designed to give you some suggestions for what is possible when you travel to Thailand. They showcase the routes that we've found work very well. Take them as your travel inspiration, because your trip will be designed uniquely for you on your particular interests.
Temples in Thailand