ANGKOR ARCHEOLOGICAL SITE
Angkor is the name of archeological site that extending the land area of 402 square kilometers, which contains around a dozen hundred temples that were built through 500 years, began from 802 to 1432 AD. This period reigned by 28 kings, the great kings were Yasovarman I, Indravarman II, Suryavarman I, Suryavarman II, and Jayavarman VII, most ancient temples were built for Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism. Angkorian architecture is unrivaled hand works in the world which makes the world renown, from day to day a lot of tourists arrive here, virtually, the tourists came to Angkor around 1.3 millions in the year 2008.
Nowadays, we still see only forty temples, which are in good conditioned, well proportioned, preserved and scaled. Those temples are: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Baphoun, Phimeanakas, Royal Palace, Prasat Sour Proat, Khleang North and South, Preah Pitu, The Terrace of Elephant, The Terrace of Leper King, The Terrace of Tepranom, Preah Palilay, Ta Prohm Kel, Phnom Bakheng, Baksei Cham Krong, Prasat Bei, Tma Bay Kaek, Prasat Chrungs, Preah Khan, Banteay Thom, Chan Ta Oun, Prasat Ta Moung, Tonle Sngout, Prasat Prei, Banteay Prei, Neak Poan, Krol Ko, Ta Som, East Mebon, Pre Rup, Prasat To, Phnom Bok, Banteay Samre, Srah Srang , Bat Chum, Prasat Kravan, Banteay Kdei, Ta Prohm, Ta Keo, Chapel Hospital, Spean Thma, Thomanon, Chau Say Tevoda, Ta Nei, Wat Atvea, Phnom Krom, Preah Ekosei, Banteay Srei, Kudisvara, and West Mebon. Those temples show a bout ancient Khmer Angkor Architectures, fascinated carvings, bas-reliefs, more smiling visages, fancy Devatas or Apsaras, the temples were built of sandstones and placed stones on stones without steals and cements.
Angkor Achaological Site
Rolous was previously the capital of Hiriharalaya, that took to build by the first Ruler of Angkor Period His Majesty king Jayavarman II, since 802 AD. This capital still ruled by four kings until the reign of king Yasovarman I, the capital moved into Angkor. This area has a few temples which took to build by different kings. The ancient temples are: Lolei, Preah Ko, Bakong, Prei Monti, Trapeang Pong, To toeng Tngai, Prasat O Lok, Prasat O Kaek and Prasat Kandal Dom. This architectures are very nice with scale, proportion, preserved, mostly built of bricks, sand stone and laterites. The carving lintels are meaningful of Hindu decorations, detailed god Vishnu on Garuda, and Indra is on Airavanta....
The funeral temple of king Jayavarman II and his predecessors, enclosed with in the moat of 500m X 400m. The foundation stele tells of the genealogy of king Indravarman I, with a reference to the cult of god king an the foundation date of three statues of Shiva and Devi in 879 AD. The other places of inscriptions date from 893 AD under the reign of king Yasovarman I and described certain dedications. This temple was built in the reign of king Indravarman I, in 879 AD and dedicated to his predecessors.
A mountain temple enclosed by laterites walls and its moat, the outer wall measures 900m X 700m. The two causeways traversed two parts of moat at the west and east, each way flanked by two Nagas balustrades, which symbolized of rainbow bridge, it means the way between the world of human beings to home of gods. Third temple mountain after Ak Yum and Kris Aram Rong Chen at Phnom Kulen and the first to make extensive use of sandstones. The stele tells of the foundation of Linga (a stone phallus, represented Shiva) in 881 AD. The eight brick towers have finely date detailed sand stone elements and some remnants of stuccos. This temple was dedicated in the reign of king Indravarnan I, in 881 AD and dedicated to home of god Shiva. The central tower is in the Angkor Wat art style, which was probably built in two centuries after the main temple was resurrected from a pile of rubbles between 1936 and 1943. The sandstones base measures 67 X 65 and the upper part is 20 X 18m and 24 m high. It also decorated with five tiers leading to the central tower corresponding to the world of mythical beings: Naga, Garuda, Raksasa, Yaksa and Maharaja.
It located about 15 km south east of Angkor wat and closes to Preah Ko and Bakong, which stands on in an island and in the center of Indratataka Baray (a large ancient man-made lake of 3.8km X 0.8km). It was built in the reign of king Yasovarman I, in 893 AD, dedicated to his ancestors such as parents and grand parents. According to inscription found with in that informed the temple is the place of four statues of Shiva and his spouse Parvati. There are six towers, that stand on the plinth with 6m in square shape and decorated by beautiful carving lintels, columns, false doors, inscription on the door jambs, the femal and male divinities stand in their niches.
It is a mountain temple which was built with five staircases of sandstones, located on the summit of Bakheng hill, it symbolized the home of gods. On its platform there are 108 plus one, that one is zenith of Mount Kailasa of Shiva, other 108 are the homage of 108 gods who live on Mount Meru. If we are looking side by side, it has 33 towers that symbolized of the main 33 gods who live on Mount Meru. Bakheng is one temple that located in the center of the first capital city of Yasodharapura which enclosed by huge 4 km long moats. It was built in the reign of His Majesty King Yasovarman I, at the early of 10th century and dedicated to god Shiva. Near by the temple at the east entrance there is the footprint of Buddha which took to erect in the 16th century by Buddhist monks. The highlight of this temple is to take the spectacular sunset at the evening with the nice view of Angkor Wat above mountain at the southeast and West Baray at the west.
It is 50m x 14m, the western end of this terrace terminates with a cruciform platform of 30m x 30m.A stele inscribed on four sides which found here, told about ancient Buddhist monastery or Asrama (Saugutasrama), so it was founded in the reign of King Yasovarman I in the late of the 9th century. In the west end there is a large Buddha 6m high that sits on the lotus pedestal, this so called Tepranom Buddha, next to which it has been possible to reconstruct another standing Buddha, over 4m in height and making the ritual gesture of " Absence of Fear ".
It was built in the reign of king Yasovarman I, at the end of 9th century, consecrated to trinity gods. this temple built on the summit of 235m high, the three sanctuaries took to built of sandstones on the sandstones plinth which belongs to the trinity gods Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, at the east side there are two fire shrines with Frangipani trees grow on roofs. Beyond the temple at west side is a large Linga which is 4m high and 1.5m.
This temple was built in the reign of King Yasovarman I, at the late of 9th century, dedicated to Trinity gods. It is on the peak of mountain Krom that is 135m high, located the south of Siem Reap distance 12km near Tonle Sap bank and we climb this temple by steps at the east side. This temple was built from laterites walls with 50m in square. The three sanctuaries were built of sand stones which stand on the plinth about 1.5m high.
It located in the small circuit, just about 3km at the east of Angkor Wat temple, in Kravan village. It is surrounding by moat, the five bricks sanctuaries stand on row of bricks base, with five doors facing east, with fantastic carving lintels, such as Lakshmi is sitting on lotus, the god Vishnu on Garuda. In central sanctuary there are three details of god Vishnu, who is getting on Garuda, he is going to repress the bad evils in the world at the north wall, southside god Vishnu betted god Valli to take three paces of steps, one step is on pedestal that symbolized Universe, one is under world and another is on the lotus which symbolized heaven, west side is the Harihara figure with combination of several gods, and a lot of divinities stand nearby. At the north tower has three details of Laksmi or Durga which forms of Harihara, that decorated with four arms, who holding four attributes of god Shiva and Vishnu. It was built in the reign of king Hasharvarman I, in 921 AD, dedicated to god Harihara.
The name of temple means the birth that covered its wing over the baby. This is the small sanctuary which stands near the foot of Phnom Bakheng. It looks so beautiful with its architectural form of Pyramid temple or mountain temple with four basal stone staircases, Its central tower is in the highest plinth which built from bricks with three sand stones false doors and the opened one is to east orient, the fancy lintel with god Indra who is getting on Airavanta. According to Art Style, the temple was built in the reign of His Majesty King Rajendravarman II, in 947 AD, and dedicated to his predecessors, especially it has said about the two ancestors Kompu and Mera, they were lineages of Surya and Chandra. Inside the temple nowadays, we can be seen the statue of Buddha which established in the 16th century.
Tma Bay Kaek
It is a small sanctuary which located at the north of Bakseichamkrong and near the moat of Angkor Thom. The name of the temple seemed to be foodless, it means the pilgrims left their rice or food at that time while they visited the Angkor Thom, after that they ate over here then the foodless they left there, at the late afternoon the crows flew down and ate foodless. Tma means Stone, Bay means Rice and Kaek means crow. The Linga stands on the plinth of temple. It was erected in the reign of His Majesty king Rajendravarman II, in late of 10th century and dedicated to god Shiva.
Prasat Bei (Three Towers)
It is the three towers which situated at 175m from Tma Bay Kaek. It was built from lava stones foundation and three towers from bricks, the lintels and door slabs built from sandstones. It was erected in the reign of His Majesty King Rajendravarman II, in the late of 10th century and dedicated to god Shiva. The carving lintel details about god Indra who is being on three headed-elephant Airavanta.
The first known Buddhist temple, there three bricks sanctuaries and laterites plinth. The Inscription detailed of dedication to there Buddhist divinities: Vejrabani, Prajnaparamitha. It was established in the reign of king Rajendravarman II, in the 953 AD, and dedicated Mahayana Buddhism.
It located in Wat Preah Enkorsei, Treang Village, just near the Angkor conservation of Siem Reap. the temple enclosed by wall and moat, but it seemed to be disappeared apart. The two tower were made from bricks that stand on plinth from north to south, with their open doors are to east orient. The lintel details of Churning of the Sea of Milk. It was built in the reign of His Majesty King Rajendravarman II, in the late 10th century, and consecrated to god Shiva.
Prasat Leak Neang
Location northeast corner of Pre Rup, just east of road, it is a single sanctuary which built from bricks with decoration of god Indra on the three headed-elephant Airavanta. It was built in the reign of king Rajendravarman II, in 960 AD, and honored to god Shiva.
It is located in the axis of the East Baray, it was built from laterites stones, bricks and sandstones doors and lintels, which enclosed by two laterites walls with long halls and many small sanctuaries, at the four angles of each level will be seen the well proportioned figures of elephants with ropes a round their necks. The central is to three meter high platform carrying five towers in set quincunx. Each tower decorated with three false doors at three sides, excepts the east side is a real one, the carving lintels with its beautiful details of the Hindu deities, Indra is on the three headed-elephant Airavanta (East lintel), Kopura is standing on the shoulder of Yaksa (North lintel), Viruna is on the swan (West lintel), Yama is on water buffalo (South lintel). It was built in the reign of king Rajendravarman II, in 952 AD and dedicated to his predecessors, especially the king Yasovarman I.
It was the state temple which situated at just the south of East Mebon temple; it means the turning the body which related to ritual of cremation of death. The temple is similar to East Mebon that enclosed by two ramparts of lava stones, but inside the wall there are standing five brick tower which looks newer than the main part of ruin, inside the second wall there are many halls, kiosks, two Agni houses and large pedestal, the pedestal is supposed to be crematorium. The level of pyramid staircases flanked by the lions, on first level there has twelve small stupas that containing the small Lingas and opened to east. At the platform holds five towers which were built from bricks with their soaring towers, which coated by molding stuccos, but they had been collapsed a part, accepts the southwest tower still remain a bit. Pre Rup was built in the reign of king Rajendravarman II, in the year 961 AD, and dedicated to Hindu god Shiva.
Banteay Srei is located 25km at the north of Angkor Thom. It was built by one Brahmin Yajnavaraha in 967 AD, in the reign of King Jayavarman V, dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. Yajnavaraha was a counselor of king Rajendravarman II and Jayavarman V, who knew the nature of elements, the source of knowledge, medicine, music, theater, the astronomy, astrology, grammar, and Hinduism. He took to build the small scale temple at the Isvarapura which enclosed from earth embankment 500m long in square. The special charm of this temple lies in its remarkable state of preservation, small size and excellence of decorations. The unanimous opinion amongst French archeologists who worked at Angkor said Bantey Srei is a "Precious gem and a Jewel in Khmers Arts". A special feature of the temple is exquisite decorations, which was used of pink sandstones that enabled the technique of mahogany wood carvings with Indian model than other temples at Angkor. It was discovered in 1914 by lieutenant Marec, an officer in the geographic service. It was not cleared until 1924. In October 1923 Andre Maraux (later he became a minister of cultural ministry in Paris) and his wife Mrs Clara Maraux visited Angkor with a friend, they all traveled to Banteay Srei by oxcart, where they removed several pieces of sculptures that forming one of female figure after which the temple is named. On arriving in Phnom Penh, they were arrested and charged with trafficking in antiquities, but not jailed, and six months later they were tried and two men received prison sentence. This temple was restored by EFEO, by Hendri Machal in technique of Anastilosis in 1931 to 1936; this man spent for his life in Angkor and studied the method of Anastilosis in Java two years from Dutch man who visited Angkor in 1930.
This temple is situated at the small Tour that was built from massive sandstones uses in the 11th century, Pyramid temple with steep staircases at the four sides. It surrounded by dried moat, walls and galleries, first temple that took to built from sandstones. At top of pyramid are standing five towers that arranged in quincunx with its central sanctuary stands in the middle and four towers stand at four angles. It was built in the reign of king Jayavarman V and Jayaviravarman, in the late of the 10th century, and honored the Hindu god Shiva. It has very little carvings at the east face, some other sides have not any, according to it lacked of carvings, the, some people said that during the time of construction, has a miracle of lightning at the central tower, that way made the architects decided to stop processing, but some ideas said that the temple had been coated from the bronzes and later someone stole them away.
It located inside the royal enclosure, where the kings worshipped in that time, it must originally have been crowned with a golden pinnacle as Zhou Daguan described it as the "the tower of gold ". It was built in the reign of kings Jayavarman V and Suryavarman I, in the early of 11th century, dedicated god Shiva. This is the kind of mountain temple with steep staircases at four sides, which its foundation built from laterites stones, one gallery stands on highest pyramidal platform. At the each angles of Pyramid standing elephants, and the lions flanking the staircases of the four directions of pyramid. This temple is associated with a legend (Zhou Daguan's report that the golden tower Phimeanakas) in side the royal palace, where a spirit serpent with nine heads lived. The spirit appeared to the Khmer king and disguised her body as a beautiful woman, and told the king to sleep with her every night in the tower before he joined his wives and concubines in other parts of the palace, if the king missed even one night it was believed that he will die, in this way the royal lineage was perpetuated.
South and North Khleangs
The two Khleangs are similar buildings of uncertain function; one at the north was built first. Two inscriptions dated from 1002 AD to 1049 AD with in the south Khleang are similar to the oath of functionaries to be found on the door opening of the east Gopura of the royal palace. These temples were built in the reign of king Suryavarman I, in the 11th century.
It is one temple situated 200m at North West of Bayon, was the state temple which was built in the reign of king Udayadityavarman II, in 1060 AD and consecrated to god Shiva. It was the artificial mountain temple which piled up from soil, covered from laterites and sandstones foundations. This temple is state of ruins in Angkor, which charged to reconstructed by EFEO since 1995 up to now. It faces to east and linking by 250m long bridge which is supported by round drum columns, in the middle there is a cruciform pavilion, the two galleries surrounded the complex with details of Hindu divinities, Ramayana and Mahabharata. At west side of second gallery is the reclining Buddha which took to build in the seventeen century.
It situated in the axis of West Baray, surrounded bank has three small entry towers on each side with two opposing doors all in sandstones set about 25m a part and a form of single tower unfortunately, it is so badly ruined, just now remains as piles of rubbles. Each pavilion is square in plane, measuring 2.40m over all and 2.28m internally, the towers link to one another by sandstones enclosures. The platform is situated in center of basin must have carried some masonry or light-weight structure, though there remains no trace. The excavations detected the presence of well, first octagonal in section and 0.55m across and then circular and a meter in diameter with the base lintel of sandstones in depth 2.70m, carefully dressed with radiating joins. The platform joined by causeway to east entry tower and flanked by Naga railings. It was built in the reign of king Udayadityavarman II, in the 11th century, and consecrated to Hindu god Vishnu.
Chau Srei Vibol (Wat Trach)
This ruin located on the peak of hill Trach at Trach village, Balang commune, Bakong district, Siem Reap Province. It is a mountain temple was built of sand stones and laterite, the temple surrounded by large wall which made of laterite stones with four Gopuras at the four cardinal directions. The sanctuary has a central tower, two libraries and galleries linked to four Gopuras at four cardinal directions. At the east side consists a large terrace and the laterites steps staircases which built from top to the bottom, and at the southern side there is the Dhammasala, that was made of sand stones with the fascinated corbel roofs, three galleries built as the halls for the pilgrims at the former time, and at the west of Dhammasala contains the large pond which framed by laterites. Outside the temple we can see the large moat, that surrounding the complex.
Angkor Wat is located around 5 km at the north of Siem Reap, the large monument of Khmer which counted as the world heritage since 1992 by UNESCO, known as the seventh wonder of the world, religious temple in Angkor that symbolized of Khmer soul, civilization and culture. It is stable, well-proportioned and preserved with its fascinated reliefs that detailed of Hindu epics and the army procession of king Suryavarman II. This temple is contrary to other monuments of Khmer which faces to west; this transposition is doubtless explained by faces. Who was erected this temple? When? For what? The answer of this question is: It was built in the reign of king Suryavarman II, in the first half of 12th century, dedicated to god Vishnu. This temple is surrounded by moat with rectangular form that measuring 1500m x 1300m long and 190m wide, surrounding galleries with 1000m long together, the outer rampart is measuring 1025m x 800m with three entry towers at the west. The five towers are standing on the top of pyramid that arranges in quincunx, the central sanctuary is in the middle and other four sanctuaries are at four angles. The central sanctuary is symbolized of mount Meru, the replica of mount Himalayas; the four towers are the four continents. The water moat is a cosmic symbol of the ocean, the surrounding rampart and galleries are the cosmic symbol of mountain chain which enclosing mount Meru. The two causeways, first is 250 m long x 12m and around 7m depth, the second one is 350m and 9m wide. All causeways are flanked by the two Naga balustrades which supported by the lower pilasters, the Naga causeways are symbolized the rainbow bridges, which the ways leading to the heavens, they are linking from the earth to the home of gods.
Chau Say Tevota
This is the small sanctuary, located at the small circuit and opposite side of Thomanon temple; this temple was built in the reign of king Suryavarman II, in the 12th century and dedicated to god Shiva. It was built of sand stone with four gateways, two libraries and one tower. The tower is linking by Madapa and at the east side there is a causeway which supported by round shaped columns, the terrace is cruciform shape, that flanked by Nagas, and the way is running from the terrace to river with flanking by sandstones lanterns.
This is the small sanctuary, which is located at the small circuit and opposite side of Chau Say Tevota temple; this temple was built in the reign of king Suryavarman II, in the 12th century and dedicated to god Vishu. It was built of sandstones with two gateways, one library and one tower. The tower is linked by Madapa and at the east side there is a short bridge which supported by round shaped columns.
This temple is located 400m east of the east Baray which linking to the dame of Baray at the west side with procession way that flanked by sandstones lanterns. The temple itself occupied around one hectare, which surrounded by two galleries, inner and the outer gallery made of laterites with four entry towers of sandstones. The central sanctuary is simple lotus bud in the same style of Angkor Wat. In side the temple there are many carvings details of Hindu epics. At the east entrance has the 200m long causeway and the cruciform terrace that flanked by two Nagas balustrades, and the elegant lions are watching the steps or staircases. It was built in the reign of king Suryavarman II, the 12th century, dedicated to home of god Vishnu.
That is located behind the terrace of Tepranom, was linked by the elegant causeway with multi headed Nagas to the main entrance of temple, the central sanctuary is soaring up to top like close lotus bud which enclosed by the laterites enclosures. The temple was made of sand stones that piled up with staircases. At the entrance consists the details of Buddha such as Nirvana, preaching, meditation gestures, east side is the statue of Buddha Preah Palilay.
It situated at the north east of the Royal palace, those are mostly bad ruined, the five towers took to build by different periods, some were built the same time of Khleang art style and some are same Angkor Wat art style. It seemed to be built at the end of reign of King Suryavarman II, in the 12th century. Over there, we still see many beautiful sculptures of god Vishnu, the churning of sea of milk and Shiva Nataracha.
It was the largest capital city in the world in this period, the last capital City of Khmer Empire. This capital is enclosed by the ramparts with 12km all way round, that is 3km in square with its five monumental sanctuaries, each located at the each cardinal direction, except the east side has two gates, victory and the death gates. So every gate decorated with four faces which look to the four cardinal directions, the outside of the wall there is a large moat that surrounded the capital city, the causeway running across the moat to main entry tower, the causeway flanked by the two rows of gods on the left hand side and the demons at the right hand side, the two groups holding the Nagas for churning of sea of milk. Inside the capital city there are many hydraulic canals and ponds for use in that time, where the one million people lived in. It is the place for collected temples such as Bayon, Baphoun, Phimeanakas, Preah Palilay, Prasat Sur Preat, Khleang North and the South, Preah Pitu, the Terrace of Elephant and the Terrace of Leper king. Shou Daguan the Chinese emissary who said about the Angkor Thom, at the center of kingdom rises a golden tower (Bayon) flanked by more than twenty lesser towers and several hundred stones chambers. On the eastern side is a golden bridge guarded by two lions of gold, one on each side, with eight golden Buddha space a long the chambers. At the north of golden tower rises the tower of bronze (Baphoun) higher than the golden tower.
Bayon is located in the center of Angkor Thom, the famous one with its faces among a hundred temples in Angkor. This temple was built for several periods, first in the late of 9th century and then in the late of 12th century, the large scale complex inside Angkor Thom, which was built of basal stones foundations and sandstones galleries and towers, with its 72m long terrace that flanked by the Nagas railings and lions guarded the staircases. The first gallery is 160m long by 140m wide with its fascinated reliefs details of the parades of king Jayavarman VII's army, the war with Chams (rivalry, or neighboring enemy of Cambodia who settled at the central Vietnam, in Champa), the every day lives of people, the civil war at the Malyoung, the real life of royal palaces and other entertainments, at the second level with complicated galleries and the chambers for worshipping, the carvings are combined between Buddhist, Hindu and daily lives of Khmer in that time, the real thousand Buddha figures had been destroyed or chopped out at the late of 13th century, which had the religion reaction, that way the Hinduist worshippers scratched the figures of Buddha firstly and then formed the Buddha's torsos as the Lingas and later on the Buddhists believers had chopped the Lingas out, on the walls surfaces there are only the niches without figures, but there we still see some spectacular carvings of every lives and look up many faces at the towers, at the third level has many faces locate near us, especially the smiling faces at north corner, there has 49 towers and each tower has four faces, these faces are the faces of Buddhist king Jayavarman VII or the faces of Bodhisattvas Lokesvara. The central sanctuary is 43m high that linked by Mandapa, with eight chambers to house of the gods and Buddha. The Bayon was the palace of the gods and Buddha, because there are the inscriptions on the door slabs which detail the names of gods and Bodhisattvas. This temple was built in the reign of great king Jayavarman VII, in the late of 12th century and the early 13th century, for dedicating the Mahayana Buddhism, it counts as the state temple in his reign.
Ta Prohm is located at the small circuit near the corner ramparts of Banteay Kdei at the southeast. The jungle temple in Angkor that the trees grew on the temple with strangling roots. The roots occupied over the sanctuaries, carvings, and the galleries of temple. The French researchers kept some trees here for some evidences when they discovered here, saw plenty of trees which grew on other ruins like here, then they cleared all trees from the temples. But at Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and Ta Som they kept the trees there. The temple is enclosed by 1.000m long x 600m wide with four monumental entry towers at the four cardinal directions, so the two entry towers are broken down at the east and the south, each tower has four smiling visages that watch to the four cardinal directions. Inside the enclosure is the residential place of 79.365 inhabitants, of which 18 high priests, 2.740 officials, 2.220 assistants, 615 dancers, and there were 3.140 villages which supplied to the temple, such as rice, fishes, and honeys. The temple occupied the land area one hectare which has three galleries, 39 towers and other chambers for the gods, inside the temple has had 200 statues of Buddha, a golden dish weighing 5.00kilograms, 35 pieces of diamonds, 40.620 pearls, 4.540 valuable stones, 876 veils from china, 512 silk beds and 523 parasols. This temple was the large royal monastery which was built in the reign of king Jayavarman VII, in 1186 AD, and dedicated to his mother Prajnaparamitha, means the perfect wisdom, represented the mother of all Buddha. You may visit here at the afternoon or early morning to avoid crowded tourists around 9 am to 12 am; the best shot is the afternoon.
It is located on the small tour, opposite side of Srah Srang Lake, the first Buddhist monastery, with large enclosure which built of lava stones with four entry towers; each has four faces that looking to the four cardinal directions. At the east side, there is the elegant terrace with flanking Nagas railings and standing lions stand at the staircases. The inner enclosure covering the temple with two gateways in the cruciform shapes, in which the east entry has the Buddha statue which established in the seventeen century. There has the dancing hall, enclosing gallery and the towers which linking by the gallery or other chambers. This temple was built in the reign of king Jayavarman VII, in 12th century and dedicated to Buddhism. At the west side, there is Spung tree grows on the wall with its giant roots like octopuses. On the column at the north side has two Buddha that remained from iconoclasts destroyed at the former time.
Srah Srang (The royal bath)
This is the royal bath that is measuring 700m x 300m, which framed by the laterites and sand stones steps leading down to the water. At the west side there is the landing terrace made of laterites and sandstones with its superb view of lions and Naga balustrades. The terrace flanked by two Nagas railings with steps stairs led in to the water. The giant Garuda holds the small serpents in the middle, and the balustrades supported by the lower column. In the center of pond has the small basic temple that so called Mebon. This pond was built in the reign of king Jayavarman VII, at the late of 12th century. We can take here the beautiful sunrise and sunset quietly.
This is the small sanctuary, which is located at the grand tour, enclosing by the large laterites enclosures with two entry towers at the west and the east sides. it is normally surrounding by two ramparts, one moat, one galleries, and two ponds at the east side. This temple was built of laterites and sandstones. At the east entrance there is the strangling fig grew on the gate of monumental tower. You may visit here in the morning, because of the view of the nice roots at the east entrance.
Neak Pean (intertwined Serpent)
It is situated at the grand tour, and in the axis of Jayatataka Baray. The temple stands on the island, which is 300m in square shape, with five ponds and one sanctuary in form of lotus bud. The central pond is 70m in square and the small one is 25m in square. The central pond linked the small ponds by four small chambers; in each chamber has the different heads. At the north is elephant (represented water element), the east side is human head (which is represented the earth element), the south is lion (represented the fire), at the west side is horse head (represented the wind element), in the former time, the people could go to the different heads if they lacked of element as well and then high priests arranged the ablutions ceremony, it means that, the temple was the hospital for treatment of diseases. The central sanctuary has three blind doors with the figures of Avalokesvara, the real one is facing to east and at the east side is a horse Balaha, one of incarnations of Avalokesvara. This horse helped the Simhala, the merchants who believed and worshipped him, the horse flew to the Indian Ocean and then helped the merchants, that way, and we can be seen around 21 figures of merchants who held the body of the horse. At the south of the central tower, there are many Lingas which carved on the stone beds. This temple was built in the reign of king Jayavarman VII, at the late of 12th century, dedicated to Mahayana Buddhism.
Preah Khan (The sacred sword)
It is located about 1.7km at the northeast of Angkor Thom North Gate, at the grand circuit, near the western dame of Jayatataka Baray. It is enclosed by two ramparts that made of laterites with four entrances at all cardinal directions; each entrance has three monumental gates which supposed for king in the middle and for ministers and officials at the both sides. The west and the east sides have the procession ways with flanking by stones lanterns with four niches, in the niches remain only some traces of scratched Buddha and at the basic supported by the monsters. The causeways extending at the four sided moat with the sculptures of the stone statues of the gods on the left and the demons on the right hand sides. At the enclosure there is 72 Garudas that is 35m set apart. The inner part of the wall was the residential places of ministers, officials, professors and teachers. The temple was previously the temporary resident of king Jayavarman VII, before he restored Angkor Thom and later this place became the training center or university. The recent year the World monument Fund found the ponds with surrounding hill which supposed to be the royal palace of king Jayavarman's father, so this group excavated here and they found the layers of laterites steps that made like stairs down into the water. This temple is similar to Ta Prohm and occupied over 56 hectare of land area. There are many chambers, galleries and the towers, which made of laterites and sandstones. The plan of temple looks like the satellite shape, the central sanctuary lies in the axis of temple with many horizontal frame doors at the four sided. It is a complex of the gods because of the inscriptions at the door slabs. At the central sanctuary has the Stupa, which was built in the seventeenth century. Beside there has been large dancing hall, and the building with double storey, which made of sandstones and it supposed to be the granary house. At the east side there is a large Spung tree (Tetrameles Nudiflora) with its giant roots grew on the temple gallery. This temple was built in the reign of king Jayavarman VII, in 1191 AD and dedicated to his father.
The Terrace of Elephants
This terrace is located in front of the royal palace in side the Angkor Thom capital, which is measuring 350m long, 19m wide. At the wall of terrace has many hunting elephants and the Garudas in the middle part of the terrace, the Garudas supported higher superb view of dais, that is the palace in the heaven. The terrace is normally flanked by the two serpent railings but all mostly collapsed a part. At the north side there is a landing terrace with lotus flower, which made of sandstones, the elephant with three heads and the horse Balaha with five heads in chambers. In the previous time this terrace was the royal audience, that the king observed the troops or visited the theater, the both side of dais for officials or ministers who visited the royal opera, circus in the terrace lawn. It was built in the reign of king Jayavarman VII, at the early of 13th century.
The Terrace of Leper King
This terrace is located at the north side of the elephants' terrace. It is known as the terrace of crematorium for the royal family. The lord Yama is the god of justice who sits on the terrace in front of the pyre of the death, and then sentenced all kinds of prisoners there. The terrace has two walls with fascinated sculptures at the both walls, the inner and outer walls. The sculptures detailed about the nine, five headed serpents, the judges or spirits with their concubines who lived under world or under the Meru Mountain. Later the French named this terrace as the terrace of Leper king, according to local people called, and the mosses, mushroom grew on the body like the leprosy and the tree felt on the statue and destroyed the fingers, toes and legs, then the local people thought that, this terrace is to leper king terrace. It was built in the reign of king Jayavarman VII, in the late of 12th century.
Prasat Sour Preat
This is the group of twelve towers that located in front of the royal palace. This group was built of laterite stones. This was built in the reign of king Jayavarman VII, at the late of 12th century. Zhou Daguan wrote about an entirely different purpose of the towers describing a method of settling disputes between men. Each of contestants is forced to be seated in one of the towers, with his relatives standing guard over him. They remain imprisoned two, three of four days. When allowed to emerge, one of them will be perfect in health. Thus is right or wrong determined by what is called "celestial judgment". Henri Mouhot wrote that the towers were said to have been the royal treasure..... it served as a depository for the crown jewels. Another theory is that, they may have served as an altar for each province, on the occasion of taking oath of loyalty to the king.
Royal Palace-Phnom Penh