Prasat Muang Tam in Buriram Province, Northeastern Thailand
See Video of Prasat Muang Tam at bottom of this page.
Entrance of Prasat Muang Tam, Buriram
Prasat Muang Tam is located in Prakorn Chai district of Buriram Province. It is located just 8 kilometes from Prasat Phanom Rung.
Prasat Muang Tam is a Hindu religious monument. It was constructed for the Hindu God Shiva and religious ceremonies were held at Muang Tam for the surrounding community.
It was constructed some 1000 years ago and abandoned some 700 years ago. In 1997 the Fine Arts Department commenced reconstruction of Muang Tam, using the Anastylosis method.
Muang Tam is in a rectangular shape 120 meters by 127 meters. It is made of laterite, sandstone and brick. The main entrance faces east (not good for pictures in the afternoon).
Inside the outer wall, there are four large L-shaped ponds. Five steps lead from pathways to theponds. The edge of each pond has a 5-headed Naga serpent which forms a rail (with its body) around the pond.
One of the four ponds at Prasat Muang Tam
A gallery (long narrow corridor) surrounds the main towers and the library. In the middle of each gallery wall is a door, aligned with the doors of the outer wall.
In the center of Prasat Muang Tam is a group of 5 towers. The central main tower has collapsed. Only the four somewhat smaller towers surrounding it are standing, though their upper levels have also collapsed. Above the east-facing entrances to the towers are lintels.
The five (four standing) central towers at Muang Tam
The main tower previously contained the Shiva Linga, the phallic symbol of Shiva's creative power.
On the way to Muang Tam, you will pass the Barai or Muang Tam reservoir. It measures 510 meters by 1090 meters and is 3 meters deep. In Khmer Hindu religion, the Barai represents the ocean surrounding Mount Meru, home of the Hindu Gods (and represented by the main prang-shaped tower at a temple compound).
You should not neglect to visit Prasat Muang Tam, it is really close to Prasat Phanom Rung. The atmosphere is different, the ponds especially create a more calming, soothing environment. We have heard it said that Muang Tam is the female counterpart to the male Prasat Phanom Rung.
Human seated on Kala, Muang Tam lintel