Wat Phrathat Dum (วัดพระธาตุดุม) is one of two ancient Khmer era castles (prasats) in Sakon Nakhon city, the other being Phrathat Narai Cheng Weng near Sakon Nakhon Rajabhat University. In Khmer prasat temples, carvings depicting mythological themes are often found on the lintels (stone support beams) above the doors. At Wat Phrathat Dum, these carvings are found on the north side lintel, depicting Narayana (i.e. Vishnu), and other motifs such as elephants, leaves, and a lion.
Wat Phrathat Dum was built in the 11th century A.D., in the Baphuon style (but with fewer carvings) of the late Khmer empire. Baphuon is an ancient temple located Angkor, Cambodia. Like the Baphuon temple, the Sakon Nakhon ruins are built in sandstone on a laterite base. The reason you find such ruins in Sakon Nakhon is because the region was once part of the Khmer empire. The most outstanding example of these local ruins is Phra That Phu Phek, located on a mountaintop and only accessible if you are hardy enough to climb almost 500 steps up a steep upgrade. There is also the ruins of an ancient Khmer bridge (called Saphan Khom) near the Sakon Nakhon city gate.
Wat Phrathat Dum has a Viharn (gathering place) behind it, which is guarded by sculptures of lions and tigers, the latter of which once ran wild in Sakon Nakhon. Inside the Viharn is a large Buddha sculpture surrounded by a number of smaller figurines of the Buddha. If you are in this area, we suggest also visiting the nearby Wat Pha Suttawas, which is home to the Museum of Achan Man Purithattha Thera and the avant-garde pagoda that houses the Museum of Luang Pu Louis Chanthasaro.