Roi Et Historical Buildings

Roi Et Province

Prang Ku

It is located at Ban Yang Ku, Tambon Ma-ue. Prang Ku is a complex of buildings with a plan that resembles the Khmer nursing home known as ‘Arogayasala’. It comprises the main prang, a library, wall and entrance pavilions, and a pond outside of the wall. The ruins are in good condition, especially the roof structure of the main prang which still maintains its three tiers and the lotus base of the pinnacle. Other ruins of the temple have been restored and are located in a shady environment.

Apart from this, to the southeast inside of the front wall, there are many more archaeological finds being kept such as a sandstone lintel depicting a personage sitting on an elephant’s or bull’s back in a niche above the Kala face. The abbot of Wat Si Rattanaram where Prang Ku is located said the lintel belonged to the front porch of the main prang. There are also 2 fragments of colonnette; one with a hermit at the base, a large Siva Lingam with its receptacle – Yoni - and a fragment of the pinnacle’s lotus base, which was adapted to be the base of a stucco image of Phra Sangkatchai. Prang Ku was built during the 12th – 13th Century A.D.

To get there: From the city, take Highway No. 23 (Roi Et – Yasothon) for 10 km. until reaching Thawat Buri district, then turn left for 6 km. to Prang Ku. Or take Highway No. 2044 (Roi Et – Phon Thong) for 8 km., then turn right for just about 1 km. to Prang Ku.

Ku Phra Ko Na

It is situated at Ban Ku, Mu 2, Tambon Sa Khu. Ku Phra Kona comprises three east-facing brick prangs lying in the north – south direction, standing on a single sandstone base. They are surrounded by a boundary wall, with entrance pavilions or Gopuras in four directions; all were made from sandstone.

The central prang was renovated in 1874 by plastering and making the roof into tiers. Each tier has niches of Buddha images in four directions. The front of the central prang was a ‘wihan’ of the Buddha’s footprint, decorated with the original six-headed Naga. The other two prangs were also renovated, but they remain in their usual styles; unlike the central prang which has been considerably changed. The northern prang was covered with a ‘sala’ building providing shelter for a gable depicting the Ramayana. Meanwhile, the lintel carving that represents the reclining Vishnu remains in situ above the front entrance. The lintel of the western false door was laid on the floor; it depicts the God Vishnu on his mount Garuda. The southern prang still has lintels above the false doors. The one in the north depicts a deity kneeling inside a stylised arch above the Kala face. In front, there is also a fallen lintel depicting the God Siva on his bull. There are also some causeway boundary stones lying over there. It is assumed that Ku Phra Kona formerly had a Naga bridge and causeway lined with boundary stones on both sides from the front entrance pavilion (Gopura) to the lake (Baray), which was located about 300 metres away. All sculptural features suggest that Ku Phra Kona probably dates from the Baphoun period, or the 11th Century.

To get there: It is 60 km. from Mueang district along Highway No. 215, passing Mueang Suang and Suwannaphum districts. Then, take Highway No. 214 for 12 km. Ku Phra Kona will be on the left-hand side. There is a rubber plantation at the entrance and a lot of monkeys residing in the temple.

Ku Ka Sing

It is situated in Wat Burapha Ku Ka Sing, Tambon Ku Ka Sing. It is another huge temple with Khmer-style architecture, comprising three prangs on the same laterite base, and rectangular library buildings in front. All of them are surrounded by a wall, with entrance pavilions known as Gopura at the four directions. Outside is a U-shaped moat surrounding the wall.

The three prangs of the main building are situated on a single base in the north – south direction. They have a square shape, facing east. The central prang is larger than the other two prangs. It has a long antechamber with three entrances at the front and on the two sides. The base of the prang was made of sandstone and carved in various rows and strips of motifs such as lotus petals and the flame-like ‘kanok’ motifs. Inside the inner chamber of the central prang, there is a Siva Lingam, which represents the Supreme God Siva and fertility, according to the beliefs in the Sivaite Sect of Hinduism. Several lintels were also found here. One piece depicts the God Indra on his mount – the Erawan or Airavata elephant – in a stylized arch above the Kala face whose hands hold the garland. There is also a gable depicting the God Indra sitting on his mount, Erawan elephant, amidst the ‘kan khot’ or scroll motif. The other two prangs have the same size and common features, having a sandstone base and brick wall with a single front entrance. There are pedestals of sculptures inside. Considering the art style, architectural plan, as well as archaeological evidence, they show that Ku Ka Sing followed the pattern of the Baphoun style of Khmer art, which is dated around 1017 – 1087 A.D. It was meant to be a shrine dedicated to Siva, one of the supreme gods in Hinduism.

To get there: There are two routes to get there; follow the Roi Et – Kaset Wisai route or Highway No. 214 for 47 km. and continue further on the Kaset Wisai – Suwannaphum route for 10 km. Turn right to Ku Ka Sing for 10 km; or take the Roi Et – Suwannaphum – Surin route (Highway No. 215) and continue onto Highway 214 for 60 km. until reaching Wat Ku Phra Kona. On the opposite side, there is a route to Ku Ka Sing, which is about 18 km. further.

Thung Kula Rong Hai

This land used to be an expansive, dry, harsh place in the middle of the region. It covers 5 provinces which are Roi Et, Surin, Buri Ram, Yasothon, and Maha Sarakham. One-third of the area is in Roi Et. There is a legend that says the Kula people were traders in ancient times who were also great fighters with excellent stamina. However, they cried when they got to Thung Kula Rong Hai because it was such a desolate place without water and big trees. Nowadays the area is fertile due to the efforts of the government to develop it and is suitable for agriculture. The development centre is 6 kilometres from the district office, a bit past Ku Phra Ko Na.