Prasat Phnom Rung

Early 12th century

Phnom Rung, located on the royal road between Angkor and Phimai, was built early in the reign of Suryavarman II (1112-1152) by Narendraditya, a local ruler and kinsman of the king. The east-facing axial temple is built upon a hill ("phnom" means "hill" in the Khmer language). The temple is approached by a long east-west causeway (160m, or 530') that is lined with lotus-bud posts. The west end of the causeway is seen in this photo, where it abuts a naga bridge like the one at Phimai. Crossing over the platform, one climbs the stairs to reach the temple enclosure.

Phnom Rung was built after Phimai and before Angkor Wat. It has several design features in common with both, particularly the use of naga bridges and the Khmer-type tower pioneered at Phimai. Yet, there is not a sense of progressive development in these three temples; Phnom Rung goes its own way, with a distinct triangular shape to its tower and an antarala (antechamber) between the entrance hall and sanctuary.