Monday, May 12, 2008

Prasat Hin Phimai

Prasat Hin Phimai, one of important religious sanctuary, is situated in the centre of ancient Phimai City in Nakorn Ratchasima, which is a gateway to the northeast of Thailand.

Prasat Hin Phimai was not only built as a sanctuary for both Buddhism and Hinduism but also for the worship of person, which is believed by the ancient native tribes such as Jam, Java, Bali and Khmer. They believed that a person who had built a sanctuary would be with Gods after their death.

To build Prasat was originated from the belief that Pra Sumeru Mount was a core of the Earth. The main Prasat was meant to be a centre. Surrounding wall represent the edges of the Universe. Ponds, next to the walls, represent the great oceans. Each level of Pra Sumeru Mount has Himapana creatures such as Garuda, Giant, angels and , also, Narayana and Siva.

The main Prasat, the core of Pra Sumeru Mount, was a place that kept the lingum or sacred images. These sacred images at Prasat Hin Phimi are believed to be Kamara Tenga Vimai, which is the most important sacred image of the Buddhist sanctuary mentioned in the inscription.

Prasat Hin Phimai is situated at the centre of Phimai city, which is at the bank of the river -Moon. This large city located on a rich plateau called Tung Samrit where is an important area for producing rice. Prasat Hin Phimai is a chrming Mahayana Buddhist sanctuary. It has a cross-shaped plan and consists of 3 important buildings; the main Prang (tower), the prang Bhramadhat and Prang Hin Daeng. All prangs are surrounded by walls that are punetuated by gate-towers at four cardinal points; North, South, East and West. There are ponds at all four corners. The front gate of the Prasat is on the south. The main entrance is a bridge, which is decorated with Naga facing south.

Prasat Hin Phimai is, as aforementioned, a charming Mahayana Buddhist sanctuary. The main prang consists of a square building with portico at all four directions. Each portico is with carved Buddha images in styles described below

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