Phimai Historical Park
Nakhon Ratchasina Province
November 16, 2021
The Phimai Historical Park is one of the largest Hindu Khmer temples in Thailand. It is located in the town of Phimai, Nakhon Ratchasima province. It is one of the most important tourist attractions in Nakhon Ratchasima province.
Phimai had previously been an important town at the time of the Khmer Empire. The temple Prasat Hin Phimai, located in the center of the town, was one of the major Khmer temples in ancient Thailand, connected with Angkor by an ancient Khmer Highway, and oriented to face Angkor as its cardinal direction. The site is now protected as the Phimai Historical Park.
The temple marks one end of the Ancient Khmer Highway from Angkor. Most buildings are from the late 11th to the late 12th century, built in the Baphuon, Bayon and Khmer temple style. However, even though the Khmer at that time were Hindu, the temple was built as a Buddhist temple since the inhabitants of the Korat area had been Buddhists as far back as the 7th century. Inscriptions name the site Vimayapura (which means city of Vimaya), which developed into the Thai name Phimai.