Friday, November 6, 2009

TMT worth a quick look

The main laterite chapel tower on a laterite platform at Prasat Ta Muen Toch
Lying 300 metres along the road from its smaller sister temple and on the road to the border is Prasat Ta Muen Toch, a 12th century temple site with a surrounding enclosure wall and in a similar style to the two Kuti Rishi sites near Phnom Rung. It too is a chapel which belonged to a nearby hospital (no longer in existence and most likely a building of wooden construction) on the Royal Road from Angkor to Phimai. Hard laterite stone was used for most of the construction including a platform leading up the eastern gopura, as well as lining the nearby pond. The gopura, the main chapel tower and a small library building are all in laterite too though sandstone was used for the doorways and windows as is the norm. There is no visible carving whatsoever. It warrants a quick look but that's about it as you head for the temple that quite literally straddles the Thai-Cambodian border, Ta Muen Thom. These temples are well-signposted and the roads in rural Isaan are very good.
A look at the eastern-facing gopura leading on to the temple itself
The laterite platform leading to the central tower of Prasat Ta Muen Toch
This monk at the site stood at the doorway to the chapel for at last ten minutes, saying prayers
The 20m-sqaure laterite lined pond just northeast of the temple site

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