BY The Bear Travelers

Phimai Historical Park: A Mesmerizing Ancient Thai Temple

The Thai and Khmer cultures have long lived side by side and created some of the most spectacular old temples such as the ancient temple at Phimai Historical Park. If you love old temples that hark back to a different time and a bygone age, Phimai is the ideal choice for you. 

With an architectural style that is very similar to what you would find at Angkor Wat in Cambodia, the Phimai Historical Park has a real ancient feel and is one of the most impressive temple complexes in Thailand. This stunning ancient temple complex is in the town of Phimai, in the Nakhon Ratchasima in the northeast of Thailand in between Bangkok and Khon Kaen

Come with us as we take you on a time travel journey to the Phimai Historical Park.

 

Taking it Back in Time

Most of the buildings in the temple grounds were believed to be constructed as long as the 11th and 12th centuries and built in the iconic Bayon and Baphuon style which is the same as Angkor Wat by Khmer king Jayavarman VI. The interesting fact is that during this period, Khmer culture was mainly Hindu. 

What makes this temple unique is that it was a Mahayana Buddhist temple. There are reports that Buddhists were living in this part of the world as far back as the 7th century. Inscriptions found at the site reveal that the place was once called Vimayapura, which means Vimaya. The name evolved from that to the name Phimai that we see today. 

The Bear Travel  Fun Fact!

Phimai Historical Park is the kind of place that takes you back in time. This place offers its visitors a historical look into the ancient art technique used by the Khmer.

 

Most Impressive Khmer Ruins in Thailand

The Phimai Historical Park has the reputation for being the most impressive Khmer ruin in Thailand for its significant architectural detail and the scale of the site. Everywhere you look, you will find intricate carvings of Hindu deities. The design elements used throughout the site are distinctive, especially on the prang tower, which was later used at Angkor Wat. 

Although as we have established, the temple was built in the 11th and 12th centuries. It is believed to be constructed on a site with an older fortified place that dates back to the 8th century. The orientation of the temple is also a bit unique as most Khmer temples are built facing west. However, Phimai is built facing south. Many believe the temple was built facing this direction to face the capital but has the temple doesn’t directly face Angkor, the theory has since been debunked. 

The Bear Travel  Trivia!

Most of the buildings in this temple are 11th and 12th century made. 

 

Phimai Temple Grounds

You enter the temple over an interesting cruciform naga bridge that is supposed to symbolize the passage from Earth to heaven. Representations of serpent-like naga gods can be found right across Asia and go back to ancient India. You then walk along a raised passageway that was once covered with a tiled roof, leading to the inner sanctum of the temple and a jaw-dropping 28-meter high shrine that is built from white sandstone and covered with majestic Hindu carvings. 

Another part of the complex is the Prang Brahmathat, which is a stone sculpture that is a replica of the statue of the Angkor King Jayavarman VII that currently sits in the Phimai National Museum. If you are visiting Phimai Historical Park and want a guided tour, you might find it a little tricky because many of the locals do not speak English. However, if you are visiting with a Thai friend or partner, some local students sometimes act as guides. 

Alternatively, there are some cool free brochures available that will give you a basic overview of the temple and its complex layout. If you are a fan of ancient history and ancient temples, the site at Phimai Historical Park is not just one of the oldest and most impressive in Thailand, but also gives a sneak glimpse into life almost 1,000 years ago.  

 

The Bear Travel  Did You Know?

Built in the 11th century by Khmer King Jayavarman VI, it was put under a Thai Government protection in 1936, and restorations were done in 1964-69. It was opened to the public in 1989 by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.

 

 

 

Map & More Information

 

 

Phimai Historical Park is one of the largest and most impressive Khmer ruins in Thailand. It is one of the important historical sites around the North East of Thailand, with a rectangular complex measuring over 1,000 meters long by almost 600 meters wide.

 

Phimai Historical Park A Mesmerizing Ancient Thai Temple

 

Fees

Thai Citizens: 20 Thai Baht for Adults  |  Free for Children

Foreigners: 100 Thai Baht for Adults  |  Free for Children

Business Hours

07.00 – 18.00 hrs  |  Monday – Sunday 

Business Address

341/3 Phimai District, Nakhon Ratchasima 30110

Contact Number

+66 (0) 44 471 535  |  +66 (0) 44 471 568

Official Website

https://historical-landmark-645.business.site/

Instagram

ปราสาทหินพิมาย จ.นครราชสีมา phimai historical park

Twitter

#phimai  |  #phimaihistoricalpark

GPS

15.2200229, 102.4919627

 

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Written by
The Bear Travelers

Hi, we are The Bear Travelers. We enjoy traveling around Thailand. Come and join us on our spectacular journey as we dive together into the mystic of Asia. 

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