A number of Khmer monuments are found in Surin province in Northeast Thailand. Located to the North of Angkor in Cambodia, Prasat Sikhoraphum is the most complete, best preserved and beautiful castle in Surin province.
Most probably built in 11th or 12th century, Prasat Sikhoraphum is a Hindu temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva. The main building consists five prangs (pagodas in Khmer style) on the raised-floored laterite platform with the pond enclosing the tree sides. The central prang is the principle and the tallest one which is 32 meters high. Powerful linga is contained in the central prang, which is the sacred symbol of the strength of the Goa Shiva. The other four smaller prangs are surrounded it at the four corners. As same as the other Khmer temples, the temple is surrounded by a moat and face the east.
The famous bas reliefs of the temple
The bas reliefs are the most famous attraction in the temple which is well preserved. The carvings on the lintels and pilasters on the gates of the entrances are very detailed and exquisite. However, the most attractive and famous bas relief is then one carved in to the lintel on the entrance to the central prang. It is showing an image of a ten arms dancing Shiva. There are some other sculpture as well showing other deities of Hindu religion. The bas reliefs on other four prangs remain of stucco work and the mythical sculptures of Naga serpents with three heads can be seen.
The temple was partly renovated and turned into a Buddhist temple during the 16th century.
Prasat Sikhoraphum is not as much impressive or large of some of the well-known Khmer temple in Thailand, however, it is still worthy of a visit. As it is far away from the main tourist areas, few tourists will come to the site to have a visit, you will enjoy a different and more serene atmosphere.
How to get to Prasat Sikhoraphum
The temple is in the remote village of Sikhoraphum of the Surin prince in the northeast of the Thailand bordering Cambodia to the south. It is about 40km from the provincial capital of Surin town. There is not an airport in Surin area, which means you can't fly to this place from any other places of Thailand.
Prasat Sikhoraphum opens daily from 8:00am to 5:00pm.
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.