Prasat Muang Sing is one of the most important historical sites found by the Kwai Noi river. It marks the westernmost border outpost of the ancient Khmer Empire so far discovered in Thailand. Besides being a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva, it served as a military stronghold, built to defend the empire from western invasions, as well as a relay point for trade along the river.
The Muang Sing Historical Park sits on approximately 736,000 sqm of well-manicured land. Bordered by laterite walls on three sides and along its river line from north to south, historians estimate that Prasat Muang Sing (“Lion City”), and its surrounding structures, was built between 857 and 1157 as a Khmer religious temple.
The main Prasat (tower), standing directly opposite the gate, was built between the 12th and 14th century at about the same time then Angkor Wat in Cambodia. Prasat Muang Sing is located right in the center of the compound and faces east as most Angkor temples do. In Khmer temple architecture and Hindu mythology, the central tower in the inner sanctuary represents the center of the universe and enshrines the sacred symbol of Shiva power, the Lingam.
The principal shrine, Prasat Muang Sing, hosts numerous sandstone sculptures, including the replica statues of the eight-armed Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, the goddess Prajnaparamita, the Seated Buddha Statue under the Naga, as well as many other baked-clay imprinted images of Buddha.
With its numerous smaller shrines containing various artifacts and few museums providing evidence of the area’s settlement before the arrival of the Khmer, Muang Sing Historical Park is the perfect place to learn about those long gone days. Add to this a beautiful landscape covered with trees and flowers as well as a very authentic non-commercial feel to it, and you’ll definitively enjoy wandering around the compound.