Prasat, originally Khmer, is used in the northeastern region of Thailand. It is a customary name for Khmer-style ancient architecture. Translating Prasat as “stone palace” is a creative idea of overseas Chinese in Thailand. The construction age of Phimai’s stone palace is at the same time as the Prasat Muang Tam. Although the Prasat hin Phimai was built 500 years earlier than the famous Angkor Wat, they are the typical Angkor architectural style, but it is much smaller and more exquisite than Angkor Wat.
To enter the Prasat hin Phimai, you must first walk through the “naga bridge” of the snake head statue. In religion, this bridge is regarded as the place connecting the world and heaven. The Hydra statue is the patron saint of the stone palace. Naga is a snake god in Indian mythology. They are called “Dragons” in Buddhist scriptures. The Naga have their own world, there are palaces that are built by gold and many treasures. The Naga family is the guardian of this magical treasure.
Even after the scouring of history and civilization, the huge stone pillars suffering from vicissitudes are still majestic and shocking. The three pagodas clustered together in the center are the main building of the Prasat hin Phimai. The main tower is composed of a five-story platform, which rises toward the center of each layer to form a pyramid. This is the place where the gods live, and it is also the “heaven” that the king believes he will go to after his death.
Various Brahman myths and ethnic images are carved on the stone walls inside and outside the Prasat hin Phimai. Artistic traces of ancient Khmer carvings remain on the stone door frame. At that time, the king came here every year to perform sacrifices.