Angkor Wat Temple Guide P


Phimeanakas ('celestial temple') is a Hindu temple in the Kleang style, built at the end of the 10th century, during the reign of Rajendravarman (from 941-968), then rebuilt by Suryavarman II in the shape of a three tier pyramid as a Hindu temple. On top of the pyramid there was a tower, while on the edge of top platform there are galleries. Phimeanakas is located inside the walled enclosure of the Royal Palace of Angkor Thom north of Baphuon. The tower must originally have been crowned with a golden pinnacle, as Zhou Daguan described it in his report. According to legend, the king spent the first watch of every night with a woman thought to represent a Nāga in the tower, during that time, not even the queen was permitted to intrude. Only in the second watch the king returned to his palace with the queen. If the naga who was the supreme land owner of Khmer land did not show up for a night, the king's day would be numbered, if the king did not show up, calamity would strike his land.

Phnom Bakheng

Constructed more than two centuries before Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng was in its day the principal temple of the Angkor region, historians believe. It was the architectural centerpiece of a new capital, Yasodharapura, that Yasovarman built when he moved the court from the capital Hariharalaya in the Roluos area located to the southeast.

Phnom Bok

Phnom Bok is a hill in the northeast of Eastern Baray, with a temple of the same name built on it. It is one of the "trilogies of mountains", each of which has a temple with similar layout. The creation of the temple is credited to the reign of Yasovarman I between 9th and 10th centuries. The two other sister temples, named after the contiguous hills, are the Phnom Bakheng and Phnom Krom. The site of the three hills was chosen by Yashovarman I along with the Eastern Baray. In the 10th century, these shrines had high religious value during the Angkorian rule. The temples called as part of an "architectural triad" brought about an element of experimentation in architectural style in the Angkorian period.

Phnom Krom

Local legend has it that the rocks of Phnom Krom were exposed by the monkey general Hanuman during a hunt for medicine in the Ramayana epic. The area beyond the temple’s west gate affords a spectacular view of the Tonle Sap lake. On top of the hill is a temple dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma. The temple in was built at the end of the 9th century, during the reign of King Yasovarman. Phnom Krom is the southernmost of three hilltop temples built in the Angkor region during the reign of Yasovarman. The other two are Phnom Bakheng and Phnom Bok

Phnom Kulen

Phnom Kulen is considered a holy mountain in Cambodia, of special religious significance to Hindus and Buddhists who come to the mountain in pilgrimage. It also has a major symbolic importance for Cambodians as the birthplace of the ancient Khmer Empire, for it was at Phnom Kulen that King Jayavarma II proclaimed independence from Java in 804 CE. The site is known for its carvings representing fertility and its waters which hold special significance to Hindus. Just 5 cm under the water's surface over 1000 small carvings are etched into the sandstone riverbed. The waters are regarded as holy, given that Jayavarman II chose to bathe in the river, and had the river diverted so that the stone bed could be carved. Carvings include a stone representation of the Hindu god Vishnu lying on his serpent Ananta, with his wife Lakshmi at his feet. A lotus flower protrudes from his navel bearing the god Brahma. Near the ancient site is Preah Ang Thom, a 16th-century Buddhist monastery notable for the giant reclining Buddha, the country's largest.

Prasat Bei

The Prasat Bei is an early 10th century Hindu temple built by King Yasovarman I. The temple was designed with three brick towers standing as a row on a single sandstone platform. Those three towers symbolized the three main Hindu gods, Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma.

Prasat Kravan

Prasat Kravan is a small 10th-century temple consisting of five reddish brick towers on a common terrace. Its original Sanskrit name is unknown. The temple was dedicated to Vishnu in 921, according to an inscription on door jambs. Prasat Kravan was originally constructed by nobleman rather than a king and has a twin sister in Takeo Province south of Phnom Penh, Prasat Neang Khmau.

Prasat Prei

Perched on a small hillock, Prasat Prei or the temple of the forest, dates from the same period as its neighbor Banteay Prei. It is difficult to evaluate the relations which necessarily exist between these two small temples, very with calms and slightly with the shelter of the glances.

Prasat Suor Prat

Prasat Suor Prat is a series of twelve towers spanned north to south lining the eastern side of royal square in Angkor Thom. The towers are made from rugged laterite and sandstone. The towers are located right in front of Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King, flanking the start of the road leading east to the Victory Gate, on either side of which they are symmetrically arranged. Their function remains unknown. Zhou Daguan describes in his records that the towers are used to settle disputes among Angkorian people, what was called 'divine judgement'.

Prasat Top - East

East Prasat Top is one of the small Angkor temples, also known as "Mangalartha" (named after the Brahmin monk Jayamangalartha to whom the temple was dedicated) or "Monument 487" (the reference number in the French inventory of monuments). It is the last Hindu temple to be built at Angkor, although architecturally not very impressive this small tower is historically very important and it is worth including it in a visit to the Angkor Thom.

Prasat Top - West

Prasat Top West are small, ruined towers standing in a quiet section of Angkor Thom. Inscriptions indicate that the site was used as early as the 9th century, but the present structure is post Angkorian. The materials from the 10th and 11th were reused for the current structure which was probably assembled in the late 13th century. The few carving that still exist are Buddhist some dating as late as the 17th century.

Pre Rup

Pre Rup was built as the state temple of Khmer King Rajendravarman II. The temple’s name is a comparatively modern one meaning "turn the body". This reflects the common belief among Cambodians that funerals were conducted at the temple, with the ashes of the body being ritually rotated in different directions as the service progressed. After East Mebon, it was the second temple built after the Khmer capital was returned to Angkor from Koh Ker. The temple-mountain displays beautiful carved false doors and has an excellent view of the surrounding countryside.

Preah Khan

Preah Khan ("Royal Sword") was built in the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII after the victory over the invading Chams in 1191. It was the centre of a substantial organisation, with almost 100,000 officials and servants. The temple is flat in design, with a basic plan of successive rectangular galleries around a Buddhist sanctuary complicated by Hindu satellite temples and numerous later additions. Preah Khan has been left largely unrestored, with numerous trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins.

Preah Ko

Preah Ko ("The Sacred Bull") was the first temple to be built in the ancient and now defunct city of Hariharalaya (in the area that today is called Roluos). After the Khmer king Jayavarman II founded the Khmer empire in 802 A.D., he finally established his capital at Hariharalaya. Indravarman I was the nephew of Jayavarman II. When he ascended to the throne, he ordered the construction first of Preah Ko, which was dedicated in 879, and later of the temple-mountain known as the Bakong. A restoration of the six towers took place in early 1990s, financed by German government.

Preah Palilay

Built in Middle to last half of the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII, Preah Palilay was dedicated to Buddhist and art style of Angkor Wat. The presence of Buddhist monks and nuns at this temple give it a feeling of an active place of worship. The carvings display many Buddhist scenes with Hindu divinities.

Preah Pithu Group

This temple was built in the first half of the 12th century (parts of the 13th century) by Suryavarman II. It is dedicated to Shiva with the art style of Angkor Wat. The complex of Preah Pithu has only recently been cleared and thus open to visitors. The proportions and decoration of the terraces are amongst the finest in Khmer art. Most of the structures are in poor condition, but their bases remain and, from the evidence, the buildings of Preah Pithu were of excellent quality in design, workmanship and decoration.

Temples of Angkor

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