Temples

List of some of the temples according to the year of construction:


Baphuon

Baphuon, a Hindu temple that means “hidden temple”, was built in 1060's by Udayadityavarman II. It is situated at approximately 3.5 kilometers/2.2 miles to the north of the western gate of Angkor Wat or just to the south of the Royal Palace enclosure.

Baphuon, a single pyramid temple also known as “the golden mountain”, is one of a few temples that were destroyed by the Khmer Rouge. It was initially found by the French in the early 1900’s and being restored in the 1960’s by a French archaeologists team. The restoration took so long time due to the Cambodia’s civil war around 1970-1993 and it’s restarted in 1995. The restoration project is being completed in April 2011 and reopened to the public on 3 July 2011.

There are a few ponds right in front of the temple where King Udayadityavarman II used to meditate. Today, they are the place to clean the temple’s stones and sometimes visitors might see children swimming in there.

click here for more details about Baphuon (by the Angkor Guide.com).

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat was built by King Soyavarman II. Angkor Wat was a Hindu temple, though it later became a Buddhist temple, until the present day. It is the main tourist attraction and the biggest temple in Cambodia, followed by Bayon, Banteay Srei and Ta Prohm. Its main entrance lies on the western part of the temple, about 6.5 kilometers/4 miles to the north of the National Road No. 6, which crosses Siem Reap city.

Angkor Wat, which is also known as the city of temples, is surrounded by an artificial lake that is said to have contained crocodiles in the ancient days in order to protect it from the enemy. It is also the first ancient Khmer temple ever granted an ISO 14001 certificate by the Japanese Quality Assurance (JQA).

Unlike many other Khmer temples, the Angkor Wat entrance is situated on the western side of the temple. This is to symbolize the death of King Soyavarman II - where the west direction means “the death direction”, as well as to dedicate it to the spirit of the King. The King’s body was kept in the middle tower in Angkor Wat.

Visitors will have to cross a 250-meter long causeway before reaching the temple’s external wall. This 12–meter wide causeway symbolizes the “rainbow bridge to reach the Nirvana (heaven)”. When reaching the external wall, visitors will see many holes (scars) caused by the bullets shot by the Siamese soldiers during their invasion many years back.

From the causeway, visitors will see only 3 towers, although there are actually 5 towers standing inside the Angkor Wat. The 3 visible towers symbolize the three gods in Hinduism, Shiva (the middle tower), Vishnu (on its right or south), Brahma (the left one or north). The central tower is also where the stone coffin of King Suryavarman II is kept.

There are 5 gateways on the external wall of the Angkor Wat. One used to be dedicated for the King and his family, two for the officials, one for the pilgrimages, and the last one for the public. There are also 1500 Apsara dancer carvings on the Angkor Wat external enclosure.

After the external wall, there is a second causeway, which is 350 meters long and the original conditions have been preserved.

Angkor Wat can be extremely hot during the day in the summer, furthermore there are not too many big trees that can protect visitors from the sun. However, there are a few restaurants located across the causeway, should visitors need to buy drinks or food, as well as the parking area for bicycle, at a cost of 500 Riel.

Toilets and restaurants are available near Angkor Café, which is located to the west of the Angkor Wat entrance.

click here for more details about Angkor Wat (by the Angkor Guide.com).

Banteay Samre

Banteay Samre was built by King Suryavarman II in the mid 1100's and was known as the citadel of the Samre. The "Samre" is the name of a group of indigenous people who originally lived around mount Kulen (northeast of Siem Reap).

Tourists usually visit this temple after a morning visit to Banteay Srei and prior to visiting other temples in either great or small circuits.

Here, visitors might be greeted by an “unofficial guide” (such as the Banteay Samre warden) who might approach foreign visitors and start explaining about the temple. If you are willing to “accept” his effort, a small tip of a dollar or so after “the tour” should make the person happy.

For those who hire electric bikes, there is an electric bike station nearby.

click here for more details about Banteay Samre (by the Angkor Guide.com).

Srah Srang

Srah Srang is a Buddhism related site where King Jayavarman VII used to bath (some historians believe it was also a place to meditate) in the late 12th century.

The size of this man-made reservoir is approximately 750 meters (820 yards, east-west) by 350 meters (382 yards, north-south), and the entrance is situated approximately 1.3 kilometers (1400 yards) to the north of Prasat Kravan. Across the road on its west direction is Banteay Kdei.

Toilets are available on the road junction, located to the north of the temple.

click here for more details about Srah Srang (by the Angkor Guide.com).


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