Seeking adventure, I’d travelled east to Buriram in the Northeast of Thailand – my destination was the 10th Century Khmer temple of Prasat Hin Phanom Rung where I had a date with the dawn.
Built 400 nearly metres up an extinct volcano, Prasat Hin Phanom Rung has a magic all its own. For a couple of days a year the rising sun’s rosy fingers stroke the temple’s Eastern portico, before plunging through 15 doorways of the temple’s galleries and bursting from the western gate in a blaze of light!
This golden beam floods the doorway for several minutes like an effect from an Indiana Jones film, illuminating ancient carvings and dazzling the waiting tourists who fight back with the feeble flashes of their camera phones trying to capture the moment.
The fact that the sunrise floods the temple door on the 15th day of the waxing moon of the fifth lunar month is no coincidence, rather the result of ancient people’s intricate calculations and study of the stars and sunrise – essential knowledge in a society that ran on religion and agriculture. More >>
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