Photo: Tree shaded ruins at Kamphaeng Phet.

San Phra Isuan (Shiva Shrine)

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Situated just northeast of the historical park’s central zone, this small shrine has a laterite base with a bronze cast of the Hindu god Shiva, or Phra Isuan to the Thais.


Photo of San Phra Isuan (Shiva Shrine)

In 1886, a German named J.E. Rustmann stole the head and hands of the image and smuggled them to Germany. It took a request from King Rama V to have them returned, and in exchange the Thai authorities graciously supplied a replica of the stolen goods to the Museum of Berlin. The image was exhibited in Bangkok’s National Museum before finally being returned to its rightful home in the early 20th century.

The statue enshrined here today is a replica; the original is displayed in the nearby National Museum. According to an ancient inscription on the base, the image "protects all two- and four-legged creatures" in Kamphaeng Phet. It’s still revered by locals who offer incense and flowers. A Shiva lingam joins a pink depiction of Ganesha and a towering dipterocarp tree to give Phra Isuan some company.


San Phra Isuan (Shiva Shrine)
Around 200 metres south of the National Museum.
Admission: Free

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Location map for San Phra Isuan (Shiva Shrine)

What next?

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