Prasat Sikhoraphum is a Khmer temple located in Thailand, between the cities of Surin and Sisaket. It was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II for Hindu worship
Khmer temple with beautiful well preserved bas reliefs
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.
Prasat Sikhoraphum was most likely built during the 11th or 12th century. 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.