Wat Phanom Pleung

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Wat Phanom Pleung
Native Nameวัดเขาพนมเพลิง, វត្តភ្នំភ្លើង
Alternative nameWat Khao Phanom Phloeng
BA#T64017
SizeMedium
ConditionRuin
TypeTemple
Location
Part ofSajanalaya
CommuneNong O
DistrictSi Satchanalai
ProvinceSukhothai
CountryThailand
Coordinates17.43415, 99.78459
History
FoundedLate 12th - Early 13th Century
BuilderJayavarman VII, Indravarman II
Art StyleBayon, Post Angkor S
MaterialLaterite, Brick
ReligionBuddhist
UNESCO Inscription1992



T64017 Wat Phanom Pleung 1.jpg
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Site Size & Condition: Medium Ruin Wat Phanom Pleung (วัดเขาพนมเพลิง - Pronounced: Wot P'nom Pl'eurng)


Located on the eastern spur of the range of low hills that cuts through the walled settlement of Sajanalaya, the present-day name of this small, partially-ruined sanctuary belies its Khmer origins. Unlike areas of northeastern Thailand, this region today possesses no Khmer-speaking population and, even during the Angkor period, undoubtedly didn't do so either apart from a few administrators, priests and officers yet the name Phnom Pleung - translated as fire mountain or literally volcano - has survived to this day.

The name is colloquial and certainly not the original title while - unlike Phanom Rung - the low hill is not of volcanic origin either so it is conceivable that Phnom Pleung is rather a memory of the function of the sanctuary which would then logically have been that of a fire temple or dharmasala.

Whatever the structure's original function it received the same subsequent, Theravada, Sukhothai period makeover as other Si Satchanalai sites with a columned hall set upon a laterite base or platform. To the rear is a square brick platform housing a seated Buddha image and rounded, Sri Lanka style, brick chedi, on a multi-tiered square base. It is likely that the laterite foundations date to the Khmer era as would the wide laterite staircase leading from the southeast to the summit of the low hill. Additional laterite steps lead to the ruins of small ancillary structures to the northeast while steps descend to the southwest connecting to a staircase rising to the main entrance of Wat Khao Suwankhiri - a larger, less ruined, monument on the adjacent hilltop.

A small but intriguing monument with a picturesque setting.


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