Prasat District, Amphoe Sikhoraphum, Ban Phluang

GPS = 14.6218699,103.5233062

Lat/Long = 14°36'36”N, 103°25'27"E

This small site consists of a single sandstone and brick tower on an elevated laterite base.  A well-preserved moat surrounds the site on all four sides with an east-facing causeway directed to the entrance.  The single structure was apparently surrounded by a stone wall but only a few scattered blocks remain.  The laterite base is somewhat higher than usual and is in excellent condition.  A number of holes in the base indicate spots where large wooden support posts must have stood.  The tower is unusual because it's abruptly truncated instead of tapered.  A brochure (printed only in Thai) suggests that perhaps the original roof was made of wood, or else the tower was incomplete.  A large plastic panel now forms the roof over the interior chamber.  There's a fairly large lustral basin (yoni) inside the tower but no linga.  The outer surfaces of tower are decorated with quite a few bas-relief carvings, more than most other towers.  The tower has been restored so it's hard to tell if the carvings are original, but they certainly are impressive.  A metal plaque at the site says the following: “Prasat Ban Pluang is located in Ban Pluang, Tambon Kang-aen, Amphoe Prasat.  It was declared a national monument and was registered in the Royal Gazette Volume 52, Part 755, on March 8, 1955.  This monument was restored by using the anastylosis method in 1972 by Mr. Vance R. Childress.  This single tower structure, Prang, was built with sandstone and laterite in redented square form facing east.  The highly skilled craftsmanship can be seen on the store lintels, pediments and decorative columns which were beautifully carved in elaborate reliefs which the style indicates ab approximate date of the 11th - 12th Century A.D.  The scene of a deity, Indra, riding on an elephant depicted at the center of the stone lintels on the east and south sides indicates that the Prang was presumably built in dedication to Indra.  There is a line of various kinds of animals such as elephants, squirrels, pigs, monkeys and cows on the top border of each lintel.  The pediment over the east entrance was carved into a scene depicting Krishna lifting mount Govardhana surrounded by figures of cows and their keepers,  A pair of decorative columns on each side was carved in floral designs and a guardian holding a club at their lower section.”

The site is easily accessible but not well marked on the approaching highway.  There's no parking lot however there is a Thai-style bathroom.  A sleepy attendant in a booth at the entrance to the site will collect an admission fee of 50 baht for foreigners, 10B for Thai citizens.  Google Maps has over 200 photos.

Prasat Ban Phluang (Ban Phluang Sanctuary)

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