Prasat Muang Sing

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Prasat Muang Sing
Native Nameปราสาทเมืองสิงห์, ប្រាសាទមឿងសិង្ហ
Alternative nameMuang Sing, Muang Singh, Muang Sing Site 1
K InscriptionK.???
Inscr. LocationMuang Sing Historical Park Exhibition Hall
Part ofJayasinghapura
DistrictSai Yok
Coordinates14.03951, 99.24305
FoundedLate 12th - Early 13th Century
BuilderJayavarman VII, Indravarman II
Art StyleBayon
Year/s Restored!974 - 1987

T71003 Prasat Muang Sing 12.jpg
(2 votes)

Site Size & Condition: Medium Prasat Prasat Muang Sing (ปราสาทเมืองสิงห์ - Pronounced: Pra-saht Moo-ang Sing)

Prasat Muang Sing - also known as Muang Sing Site 1 - refers to the principal temple structure located within the wider site of Muang Sing. For the walled, moated settlement itself, we use the city's original name, Jayasinghapura.

The main entrance of the fully restored laterite sanctuary aligns with the eastern entrance to the outer walls although curiously this entrance is offset some distance (c. 150m) south of the eastern wall's central point. The site is also situated some 100m or so east of the north-south axis, meaning that it holds a central position within the southeast quadrant, rather than within the overall walled settlement.

The sanctuary itself displays a classic Bayon-period layout with a surrounding rectangular wall with a cruciform entrance causeway to the east and an inner enclosure featuring 4 gopuras at the cardinal points which in turn encloses a central shrine - again with a cruciform plan. No sandstone, structural or decorative elements are in situ. Bearing in mind the significant number of statues unearthed on or near the site the absence of, for instance, any lintels and pedestals, would seem to imply they never existed. Sections of stucco remain on protected walls and it appears likely that decorative reliefs were in stucco rather than sandstone. It must be noted that this large site was probably constructed rather hastily and was occupied for a very limited period at the end of the 12th and early part of the 13th centuries. (Buddhist sculptures being perhaps more readily sourced elsewhere than appropriate sandstone lintels?)

The various sandstone sculptures seen around the site today - including Prajnaparamita, a 6-armed Lokeshvara and a seated Buddha with naga - are reproductions with the originals being housed either in the adjacent Muang Sing Historical Park Exhibition Hall or the Bangkok National Museum. (The former also houses a pedestal with a brief inscription.)

Thai FAD restoration of the site began in 1974 and continued into the 1980s and has come under considerable criticism for perceived architectural inaccuracies. Certain details of the sanctuary do display definite inconsistencies and while our cynical side would suggest the intention may have been to create a visit-worthy site for tourists rather than a strictly accurate restoration of a Bayon-style temple, it is fair to point out that both archaeological knowledge and restoration techniques were far less advanced in the 70s than they are today.

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