Sep 9, 2009

Phimai Historical Park

As I'm living in Korat, going to Phimai is about an hour drive from my home (60 kms). My Phimai trip usually combine with a visit to Sai Ngam (Abundance of Banyan tree) where is 1-2 kms from Phimai Historical Park. In November every year The Phimai annual festival take place, you will see Phimai as a lively town. Boat race, cultural performance, Korat cat contest, light and sound in Phimai Historical Park.. As I used to go to Phimai in different times, I like better when it has no event, I love a peaceful atmoshphere and see real local life. All these photos taken several years ago, my visit in the week-day, quite nice!

Phimai Historical Park is located in the town of Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima province.

The temple marks one end of the Ancient Khmer Highway from Angkor. As the enclosed area of 1020x580m is comparable with that of Angkor Wat, Phimai must have been an important city in the Khmer empire. Most buildings are from the late 11th to the late 12th century, built in the Baphuon, Bayon and Angkor Wat style. However, even though the Khmer at that time were Hindu, the temple was built as a Buddhist temple, as Buddhism in the Khorat area dated back to the 7th century. Inscriptions name the site Vimayapura (which means city of Vimaya), which developed into the Thai name Phimai.

The first inventory of the ruins was done in 1901 by the French geographer Etienne Aymonier. They were put under governmental protection by announcement in the Government Gazette, Volume 53, section 34, from September 27, 1936. Most of the restorations were done from 1964 to 1969 as a joint Thai-French project. The historical park, now managed by the Fine Arts Department, was officially opened by Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn on April 12, 1989.