Neak Pean, “the entwined snakes” is a small temple located on an island in the center of the now dry Jayatataka baray, a water reservoir 3,500 meter long and 900 meter wide. Initially dedicated to the Buddha, the temple was rededicated to Lokeshvara, the Bodhisattva of compassion.

Much of the temple area is flooded during the rainy season. A wooden walkway over the waters leads to the central sanctuary, which is fenced off to protect it from further decay.

The Neak Pean was cleared from jungle vegetation in the 1920’s and 1930’s. Restoration works have been carried out using the anastylosis method in the late 1930’s.
Central pond surrounded by four smaller ponds

The temple area on the island in the center of the Jayatataka baray is enclosed by a square laterite wall measuring 350 meters wide, in which were contained a number of ponds. While the outer ponds have gone, the central pond and four surrounding ponds remain.

The central pond of Neak Pean symbolizes lake Anavatapta, a lake located in the center of the world in Buddhist cosmology. At each of its four sides is a smaller pond (srah) and a chapel connecting the large central pond with the surrounding ones. The four chapels were used by pilgrims who would wash away their sins in the cleansing waters of the central pond. In each chapel there is a stone gargoyle in a different shape, namely a head of a King, an elephant, a lion and a horse. Through their open mouths flowed water that filled that chapel’s small basins with the healing waters from the central pool. Each of the chapels contains a base, on which the main idol stood. Several depictions of Lokeshvara can be found inside the chapels.
Image of Lokeshvara at Neak Pean
Central sanctuary

In the center of the central pond is a circular island with a diameter of 14 meters, on which stands the sanctuary. The sandstone sanctuary is set on a circular stone base, encircled by two Naga snakes, guarding the East entrance of the temple. At the other end (West) their tales intertwine, from which the temple derives its name; Neak Pean translates to “the entwined snakes”.

Originally the sanctuary had doors on each of the four cardinal directions. At one point three of them were closed, leaving just the East entrance. The false doors were adorned with large carved depictions of Lokeshvara, believed to posses the powers of healing. On the pediment over the East entrance is a depiction of the Buddha. The image of the Buddha that was enshrined inside the sanctuary is no longer there.

Scattered around the central sanctuary are several lingas (the representation of Shiva), and Yonis (the female counterpart of the linga). In front of the East entrance stands a statue of the flying horse Balaha, often partly submerged in the rainy season.
Central sanctuary of Neak Pean
Central sanctuary
The flying horse Balaha

The flying horse Balaha depicts a story from one of the Jataka tales, the stories that tell about the previous lives of the Buddha. A group of merchants were sailing the ocean, when a violent storm broke out that wrecked their ship. Clinging on to pieces of wood from the broken ship the merchants ended up on a beach of an island named Singhala. The island was inhabited by demons, that took the shape of attractive young women. The sailors were warmly welcomed by the women, who took them to their homes where they had children and lived as a family.

One night the captain of the ship discovered a house with no doors and no windows from where loud cries of misery and weeping emerged. Locked inside the house were merchants previously stranded on the island, who told the captain that the women were in fact demons and that they had to escape the island while they still had the chance. Once a month the flying horse Balaha would appear on the island to rescue stranded sailors. The merchants are seen clinging to the horse’s manes and tail, escaping danger.

The storey serves as a reminder not to focus on worldly matters and temptations and instead reach for lasting happiness by following the teachings of the Buddha.

Preah Vihear: ‘Mountain of the sacred monastery

Location: 268 kilometres  northeast of Siem Reap Access: Tip: Spectacular views of Cambodia and Thailand from the Dangrek Mountains Date: Construction probably began in the late ninth to early tenth centuries and continued in the mid-12th century King: begun by Yasovarman I

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Koh Ker

King Jayavarman IV ‘founded by his own power, a city which was the seat of the prosperities of the universe’. – From an inscription in Lawrence Briggs’  The ancient Khmer emplire, reprint, Bankok, White Lotus, 1999 Location: Approximately 3-4 hours from Siem Reap by Road. Take R

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Beng Mealea: ‘The Lotus Pool’

A trip to Beng Mealea, which in itself demands an entiie day, can be combined with a hunting party, since the region is rich in both small and large game and wild animals: tigers, panthers and elephants, herds of oxen and wild buffalo inhabit the forest as far as Prah Khan of Kampong

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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, in its beauty and state of preservation, is unrivaled. Its mightiness and magnificence bespeak a pomp luxury surpassing that of a pharaoh or a shah Jaham, an impressiveness greater than that of the Pyramids, an artistic distinctiveness as fine as that of the Taj Mahal. Loc

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We stand before it stunned. It is like nothing else in the land. Location: in the centre of the city of Angkor Thom, 1.5 kilometres (1 mile) from the south gate Access: enter from the east Date: late 12th century to early 13th century King: Jayavarman VII (reigned 1181-1120) Religion:

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Terrace of the Leper King

The stone monarch is absolutely naked, his hair is plaited and he sits in the Javanese fashion. The legs are too short for the torso, and the forms, much too founded, lack the strong protuberances of manly muscles; but, however glaring are his defects, he has many beauties, and as a s

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Terrace of the Elephants

An imperial hunt in the somber forests of the realm. There are formidable elephants…. The forest in which they travel is impenetrable to all but tiny creatures, able to squeeze their smallness between the fissures of the undergrowth, and to the biggest animals, which crush chasm

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North of the Golden Tower [Bayon] … rises the Tower of Bronze [Baphuon], higher even than the Golden Tower: a truly astonishing spectacle, with more than ten chambers at its base. Location: 200 metres (656 feet) north-west of the Bayon, and south of Phimeanakas Access: enter and

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Phimeanakas: ‘Aerial Palace’

Location: inside the enclosure walls of the Royal Palace Access: walk over the Terrace of Elephants and through the east gopura of the enclosure wall encircling the Royal Palace. You are on the principal access to the temple. Alternatively, follow the pathway between the two

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Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom is undeniably an expression of the highest genius. It is, in three dimensions and on a scale worthy of an entire nation, the materialization of Buddhist cosmology, representing ideas that only great painters would dare to portray…. Angkor Thom is not an architectural

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Ta Prom

Ta Prohm is the modern name of the temple at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara

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Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei or Banteay Srey (Khmer: ប្រាសាទបន្ទាយស្រី) is a 10th-century Cambodian temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Located in the area of Angkor in Cambodia.It lies near the hill of Phnom Dei, 25 km (16 mi) north-east of the main group of temples that once belonged to the medieval capitals of Yasodharapura and Angkor Thom...

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Preah Khan

Preah Khan "Royal Sword" is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built in the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII to honor his father. It is located northeast of Angkor Thom

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Neak Pean (Island temple)

Neak Pean was originally designed for medical purposes (the ancients believed that going into these pools would balance the elements in the bather, thus curing disease); it is one of the many hospitals that Jayavarman VII built. It is based on the ancient Hindu belief of balance...

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Ta Keo Temple ( Ancestor Keo)
Date: End of the 10th century to the early of 11th century (1000)
King: Jayavaraman 5 ( 968 -1001) & Suryavaraman1 (1002-1050)
Religion: Hinduism dedicated to God Siva

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Banteay Kdie temple built late 12th century to the early 13th century (1181)
 Bayon Style. Jayavaraman VII
Religion: Buddishim

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 Pre Rup temple( Change the body)                                                       
Date: Second half of the 10th century (961)
King: Rajendravaraman2nd
Religion: Hinduism  dedicated to God Siva
Art Style: Pre rup
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Eastern mabon temple located north of Pre Rup temple about 1400 meters
Date : Second half of the 10th century ( 952)
Religion: Hinduism dedicated to God Siva and the memorial the king"s parents
King: Rajendravaraman 2nd ( 944-968)

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Banteay Samre ( The citadel of the Samre)
Date: Middle of 12th century ( 1150- 1175)
King: Suryavaranam 2nd
Religion: Hinduism  dedicated to God Vishnu)
Art style : Angkor wat
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Date: Late 12th century, 13th century
Art Style: Bayon
Reign: Jayavaraman VII, enlarged by Indravarman II
King: Jayavaraman 7
Religion: Buddism

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Lolei temple located at Rolous Group
Date: Eng od 9th century (893)
King: Yasovaraman Ist
Religion:Hinduism dedicated to Siva and memorial the king's father

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This is Bakong temple located at the Rolous Group South of Preah Ko temple
Built late 9th century ( 881)
Religion: Hinduism dedicated to Siva
King: Indravaraman I ( 877- 889)

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Preah Ko Temple( Sacred Bull)
Location:Between Bakong and Lolei temple
Date: Late 9th century(879)
King: Indravaraman 1st
Religion: Hinduism dedicated to God Shiva , memorial temple built for the King parents and maternal grandparents

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Kulen Mountain waterfall National Park.
Considered by Khmers to be the most sacred mountain in Cambodia, Phnom Kulen is a popular place of pilgrimage on weekends and during festivals. It played a significant role in the history of the Khmer empire, as it was from here in AD 802 that Jayavarman II proclaimed himself a devaraja (god-king), giving birth to the Cambodian kingdom. Attractions include a giant reclining Buddha, hundreds of lingas carved in the riverbed, an impressive waterfall and some remote temples.

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Kbal Spean  
A spectacularly carved riverbed, Kbal Spean is set deep in the jungle to the northeast of Angkor. More commonly referred to in English as the ‘River of a Thousand Lingas’, the name actually means ‘bridgehead’, a reference to the natural rock bridge here. Lingas (phallic symbols) have been elaborately carved into the riverbed, and images of Hindu deities are dotted about the area. It was ‘discovered’ in 1969, when ethnologist Jean Boulbet was shown the area by a hermit.

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Sambo Prei Kuk temple
The ancient city where monuments of Sambo Prei Kuk are found today was identified as ISANAPURA, the capital of Chenla in 7th century. Chenla was a former vassal of the Funan kingdom that was one of the first state in Southeast Asia, but it gradually gained its power and eventually King Citrasena Mahendravarman of Funan in the early 7th century.
Main archaeological features in these groups of monuments are said to have been founded by king ISANAVARMAN I, the son of king Citrasena.
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(CNN) — If you've heard of one Cambodian temple, it's probably Angkor Wat -- an awe-inspiring yet well-trodden UNESCO World Heritage Site in Siem Reap.

But many travelers don't realize the Seventh Wonder of the World is one of thousands of ancient Khmer temples dotting the Cambodian countryside.

Hidden beneath a canopy of trees in the northwestern jungles of Cambodia lies a lesser known beauty: Banteay Chhmar, which roughly translates to "Citadel of Cats."

Brought to life in the 12th century by Jayavarman VII, one of the Khmer Empire's greatest rulers, this little-understood temple was left uninhabited for nearly 800 years.

Time, severe pillaging and the inexorable domination of nature left the site in a state of semi-collapse. It was added to UNESCO's tentative list in 1992.

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