Our Location

Ancient City

The city measures approximately 2 km x 1.8 km and has a double enclosure of earthen walls. It appears to have been founded around the middle of the 5th century AD, as suggested by an inscription of a king named Devanika, found in the modern village of Vat Luang Kau. Two inscriptions discovered recently in the same area inform us that, as early as the end of the 6th century AD, it was the capital city of king Mahendravarman, who later became the ruler of the Sambor Prei Kuk area (240 km south-west in Cambodia).

Later on, this city (often identified with Shrestapura) lost its role as political capital when the founding dynasties extended their rule over the whole Khmer territory.

They moved their political centers with them finally establishing their capital at Angkor (beginning C.10th). Nevertheless, the successive Khmer rulers never forgot their origins, since most of them, until the last king (Jayavarman VII, end C.12th), established religious foundations in and around Vat Phou.

They made donations for the maintenance of the sanctuary, the religious importance of which was never denied. Afterwards, Vat Phou became an active Buddhist sanctuary, and remains so today: every year, at the time of the February full moon, a pilgrimage is held which attracts many worshippers.

 

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8 Trails around Vat Phou

Archaeological, cultural and natural trails in Champasak district

Unveiling Monument

Restoration by Lao-French Cooperation

Publications

Guide book, history, explorations and research at Vat Phou and around

Vat Phou Master Plan 2016

Champasak Cultural Landscape Master Plan 2016

Scientific seminar Vat Phou - June 2017

Seminar on recent archaeological discoveries in the region of Vat Phou and Southern Laos

New Transportation service

Mini-van between Champasak and Pakse every day

Our Common Heritage

Exploring the World Heritage sites in Cambodia, Laos and Viet Nam

Awareness raising campaign

on Environment during Vat Phou Festival 2018.

Map Vat Phou and Around - Pierre Pichard - EFEO - 1992

WHO World Heritage
Sites to go Smoke free