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Phanom Rung Festival 2014

April 2, 2014 Destination Thailand No Comments Email Email

1485140028pBuri Ram, one of Thailand’s lower northeastern provinces, is notable for age-old civilization, especially monuments and artifacts in the Khmer style. It borders Cambodia to the southeast. 
The most famous attraction that has made a name for Buri Ram is the hilltop Hindu shrine of Phanom Rung, which is referred to as Prasat Phanom Rung. Buri Ram province will join hands with the Tourism Authority of Thailand in organizing the “Phanom Rung Festival 2014.”

The event will take place at the Phanom Rung Historical Park in Chaloem Phra Kiat district from 4 to 6 April 2014. Phanom Rung is recognized as the most beautiful sandstone temple in Thailand. The Khmer word “Phanom” means “hill” and the words “Phanom Rung” were derived from the ancient Khmer language, meaning “large mountain.”

This Hindu sanctuary, evidence of an old civilization, is located on the top of Khao Phanom Rung, an inactive volcano. It was left unattended and in ruins for many centuries until 1935, when the Fine Arts Department registered it and declared it a national protected archeological site. A major renovation using modern techniques began in 1971 and was completed in 1988. The restoration effort took 17 years to restore the sanctuary to a state as close as possible to its original.

Prasat Phanom Rung is believed to have been constructed between the 10th and 13th centuries as a shrine of worship for the god Shiva. The day that attracts the highest number of visitors is the day when the sun’s rays pass through the 15 portals of the sanctuary at the same instant, creating a visually stunning effect.

This phenomenon is rare and amazing, and it testifies to the superb skills of the temple builders. During the upcoming Phanom Rung Festival, visitors will see this spectacular solar-related event through the 15 portals of the sanctuary on 4-6 April at 6:00 a.m.

As worshippers of the Sun God, craftsmen in those days observed the directions of sunshine at this hilltop sanctuary and used them as an important element in building the temple. Also, the designs carved into the sandstone pagoda, columns, doorways, and lintels are exquisite, most telling stories of the gods in Hinduism.

A colorful light and sound show will be held at the Phanom Rung Festival 2014 at 8:00 p.m. on 5 and 6 April. Local food specialties will be offered to visitors at a retro market. A bazaar of local products and souvenirs will also be held at the “OTOP Village” in the area.

After visiting Prasat Phanom Rung, visitors are also suggested to visit the Muang Tam Sanctuary, a complex of old monuments, located 18 kilometers from Prasat Phanom Rung. Muang Tam is also a Hindu sanctuary in the Khmer style and was registered as one of Thailand’s historical sites.

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