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Prasat Sikhoraphum was built in 11th - 12th century
Located at Surin
Surin province in North East Thailand houses a number of Khmer monuments, of which Prasat Sikhoraphum is one of the largest and best preserved. This Khmer monument is located North of Angkor (current day Siem Reap in Cambodia), which was the center of the ancient Khmer empire, East of Phimai and North East of Muang Tum and Phanom Rung.

It was constructed as a Hindu temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.

The temple complex consists of five prangs (Khmer style towers) set on a single laterite platform. The central prang is the tallest measuring 32 meters high. The central prang usually houses the linga, the sacred symbol that symbolizes the strength of the God Shiva. This prang is surrounded by four smaller prangs, that are placed in a square. The temple complex is oriented towards the East, as is usual with Khmer temples and is surrounded by a moat.

The bas reliefs of Prasat Sikhoraphum
The main attraction of Prasat Sikhoraphum are the bas reliefs of the temple, that are well preserved. Several pilasters and lintels over entrances contain very detailed carvings.

The bas relief carved into the lintel on the entrance to the central prang is probably the most famous one. This relief shows an image of a dancing Shiva, shown with ten arms. The sculpting also shows other Hindu Gods. Also on the central prang are two sculptures of Devatas, a kind of Hindu deities.

The other four prangs contain remains of stucco work as well as a depiction of the mythical snake Naga, shown here with three heads.

During the 16th century, the temple complex was partly renovated and turned into a Buddhist temple.

Although Prasat Sikhoraphum is not as large or impressive as some of the better known Khmer temples in Thailand, it is worth a visit. Because of its location away from the main tourist areas, very few foreign tourists visit this site, giving it a different, more serene atmosphere.

How to get to Prasat Sikhoraphum
Prasat Sikhoraphum is located in Surin province in the lower part of North East Thailand, bordering on the South to Cambodia. The monument can be found in the village of Sikhoraphum, almost 40 kilometers East of the provincial capital Surin town. There are one airports in the Surin area with frequent flights to Bangkok.

There is a direct connection by train between Bangkok and the town of Sikhoraphum. The State Railway of Thailand’s North Eastern line has several connections daily. It takes around 7 hours or more from Bangkok’s Hualamphong station to get there, depending on the type of train.

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