Sop Namman Khmer Ruin

yoni at Sop Namman Khmer ruin

Sop Namman (สบน้ำมัน) sits under a giant mango tree far from any village or paved road and it’s the small adventure required to get there, rather than what you find that makes a visit fun. Judging by the large (1.3 x 1.3 meters square) yoni still there, it could have been a fairly large sanctuary. But, other than this, all that remains are 33 scattered sandstone blocks. Nothing is known… Read More

Ku Ban Hua Sa Khmer Ruin

blocks of Ku Ban Hua Sa Khmer ruin

In Thailand there are many Khmer ruins inside villages, but Ku Ban Hua Sa (กู่บ้านหัวสระ) is the first I have visited that is literally in someone’s backyard. Although rather than an actual ruin, it’s just a gathering of various sandstone and laterite blocks, some for building walls and others carved for decorative trim. A few carvings in better condition were removed by the Fine Arts Department for safe keeping. A… Read More

Wat Boon Khmer Ruin

laterite blocks at Wat Boon

Wat Boon (วัดบูรณ์) is known locally for its old (possibly Lan Chang era) brick stupa, which is now covered by a modern one. But, before the Lao came there was a Khmer temple of unknown era and design on this site. There are no Khmer structures remaining, just a few blocks, almost all laterite, which you barely notice since they’re used to line walkways next to the ubosot and stupa.… Read More

Prang Ku Kaeng Sanam Nang Khmer Ruin

Prang Ku Kaeng Sanam Nang (ปรางค์กู่แก้งสนามนาง) was, and kind of still is, a single laterite tower of unknown age. The original temple toppled completely and there was no attempt at reconstruction. What stands now are laterite and sandstone blocks stacked to make three walls for a Buddha image shrine. It’s now open to the north, but the original almost certainly would have faced east, and there’s a doorway to the… Read More

Wat Phra Phai Luang Khmer Ruin

pediment on north tower of Wat Phra Phai Luang Khmer ruin

The largest of the three Khmer-era temples still standing at Sukhothai, Wat Phra Phai Luang (วัดพระพายหลวง) lies north of the old city walls, about 700 meters east of Wat Si Chum’s iconic giant Buddha image. It was built in the early 13th century by King Jayavarman VII (r. 1182-1219) and this area appears to have been at the core of the Khmer city; it would have remained so for the… Read More

San Ta Pha Daeng Khmer Ruin

San Ta Pha Daeng Khmer ruin

San Ta Pha Daeng (ศาลตาผาแดง) is the oldest and smallest of the three surviving Khmer temples at Sukhothai Historical Park (the others are Wat Si Sawai and Wat Phra Phai Luang); and thus the overall oldest monument there. It is Bayon/Lopburi-style and probably dates from the late 12th or early 13th century as a project of King Jayavarman VII (r. 1182-1219). Some sources date it to the reign of Suryavarman… Read More

Wat Si Sawai Khmer Ruin

entrance to Wat Si Sawai Khmer ruin

Wat Si Sawai (วัดศรีสวาย), located within the old city walls about 200m southwest of Wat Mahathat, is one of the most visited ruins at Sukhothai Historical Park. At its core is a main sanctuary with three prang towers built by the Khmer in the late 12th or early 13th century. Despite this being the reign of Jayavarman VII (r. 1182-1219), a devout Buddhist, it appears that it served as a Hindu temple… Read More

Phra That Phu Phek Khmer Ruin

Phra That Phu Phek Khmer ruin

Phra That Phu Phek (พระธาตุภูเพ็ก), about 22 kilometers west (32 kilometers by road) of Sakon Nakhon city, crowns a mountain about 520 meters above sea level. There’s a simple, modern Buddhist temple near the ruins, so you can drive most of the way up the mountain, but the final approach to the summit is along a 494-step staircase. You should probably be in reasonably good shape to visit since besides… Read More

Ku Kaew Khmer Ruin

shrine inside library of Ku Kaew Khmer ruin Khon Kaen

Ku Kaew (กู่แก้ว) is a far cry from Prasat Puay Noi, Khon Kaen’s best preserved Khmer ruin, but there’s still enough standing to make a visit interesting. It was built in the early 13th century by King Jayavarman VII (r. 1182-1219) as a temple for a hospital (arogayasala). All buildings are made of laterite and none retain their tops, and though the sandstone frames remain around the doors, there are… Read More

Prasat Phra Yuen Khmer Ruin

Prasat Phra Yuen khmer ruin

There’s no structure remaining from Prasat Phra Yuen (ปราสาทพระยืน), which is just called prang ku (ปรางค์กู่) by locals, but a pair of shrines have been made from the remnants. The main shrine is a small modern building with four old Buddhas. Legend says Phra Yuen town was founded by the leader of Chonnabot in 1863 because he found the two standing Buddhas in the ground here after dreaming of two… Read More

Ku Ban Non Ku Khmer Ruin

large buddha image at Ku Ban Non Ku khmer ruin

All that’s left of Ku Ban Non Ku (กู่บ้านโนนกู่) are some laterite blocks that have been piled up to make an 8×16-meter platform for a four-meter tall Buddha image built in 1995. The only estimate for an age is late-10th to early-13th century, though because of the location, later dates are most likely. Two of the small stairs each include a broken sandstone slab and these appear that they could… Read More

Prang Wat Chulamani Khmer Ruin

Prang Wat Chulamani khmer ruin

The only Khmer ruin in Phitsanulok province, Prang Wat Chulamani (ปรางค์วัดจุฬามณี) is part of its large namesake temple. It’s six kilometers southwest of the modern city center near the Nan River and this was probably the city’s original location. It’s not worth making a long trip, but it’s quite fun to visit if you’re already in Phitsanulok. All that remains from the Khmer era is an east-facing (it’s actually off… Read More

Ku Buamat Khmer Ruin

central tower and library of Ku Buamat Khmer ruin

Ku Buamat (กู่บัวมาศ) is in pretty bad condition overall, with no complete structures remaining, but there’s enough left to give an overall idea of how it used to be. And, surrounded by rice fields, it’s a peaceful place. Possibly built in the 11th century and later modified, it now has the bottom two meters of a single brick tower, although maybe there either were, or were going to be two… Read More

Ku Mithila Khmer Ruin

shrine made form laterite of Ku Mithila Khmer ruin

The few laterite blocks from Ku Mithila (กู่มิถิลา) that remain, with the addition of some new laterite, have been used to construct a small modern shrine. At its core is an old (though after the Khmer era) Buddha statue in subduing Mara posture carved from laterite. Around it are laterite statues of Rahu, Brahma, Mae Thoranee, and one that can’t be identified, but could be Phra Malai. Although they’re not… Read More

Ku Sampan Ka Khmer Ruin

Ku Sampan Ka Khmer ruin

The monks of Wat Khok Ku have transformed what little remains of the original Ku Sampan Ka (กู่สัมพันธ์ค่า) Khmer temple into a small sacred area. They dug a square-shaped pit into the ground, lined it with the few dozen remaining laterite blocks that had been lying around the grounds, and hung a blue PVC pipe for pouring water over Buddha images during Songkran, the Thai New Year. It sits right… Read More

Ku Ban Daeng Khmer Ruin

back of Ku Ban Daeng Khmer ruin

Ku Ban Daeng (กู่บ้านแดง) is a small Mahayana Buddhist temple that appears to be from the reign of Jayavarman VII (r. 1182-1219) in the early 13th century. The only structure remaining is the central sanctuary, which has three laterite towers on a single base. None of them have their tops any more, though the middle tower is still used as a shrine; the yoni and Buddha statue are both modern creations. Several… Read More

Ku Sunthararam Khmer Ruin

Back of large Buddha surrounded by laterite enclosure at Ku Sunthararam Khmer Ruin

The laterite enclosure around Ku Sunthararam (กู่สุนทราราม) is nearly complete, which isn’t often the case in Thailand, but that’s the only Khmer era structure visible here. Concrete fills in some gaps in the wall, but it has aged so much that it’s not immediately noticeable. In 1956 a 29m-tall Buddha statue was built over what remained of the toppled laterite tower(s) and there’s a big modern arched gate in typical… Read More

Ku Phanna Khmer Ruin

east gopura of Ku Phanna Khmer ruin

Ku Phanna (กู่พันนา), about an hour northwest of Sakon Nakhon city, is the northernmost Khmer ruin; beating Wat Phra Si Rattana Mahathat by about 1/100th of a degree latitude . It’s one of the many arogayasala (hospital) temples built across the empire by King Jayavarman VII (r. 1182-1219) in the early 13th century. Everything was built with laterite and enough is still standing to make a visit enjoyable. The most… Read More

Ku Bueng Jiew Khmer Ruin

thai buddhist monk standing next to sandstone pedestal of Ku Bueng Jiew Khmer ruin

All that remains visible of Ku Bueng Jiew (กู่บึงจิว) is a single carved sandstone pedestal with two holes in it. Locals believe this stone now covers a naga hole. The large Buddha that’s inside the sala in front of the naga hole was built over all the laterite blocks that remained from the Khmer temple. Its age is unknown. Locals call the site Prang Ku. Location – Wat Pa Ban Prang… Read More

Khmer Ruins in Thailand

detail of kala face on lintel at Muang Tam Khmer ruin

This page has links to all my posts about Khmer-era historical sites in Thailand, from the grand, inspiring monuments of Phimai and Phnom Rung to various small piles of rubble. Besides temple ruins, there are also some sandstone quarries, piers, and rock carvings. Many of these ruins have multiple names; I’ve chosen the one that seems to be most common. Background Information Arogayasala and Dharmasala Buriram Kuti Ruesi Ban Khok… Read More

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