are still in good shape. The CCD is committed to get you informed about our heritage. We believe Cambodia has so much to offer, but the world know little about her. Here are some of the temples that might be of interest to you.
The Khmer began building Prasat (temple) Preah Vihear in 9th century atop of a mountain cliff, 525 meters high, overlooking a vast plain and mountain range. At the time, Cambodian western territory extended as far as present Burma and
northern territory as far as Chieng Mai, Thai’s province.
For centuries, it was a sanctuary dedicated to Hindu god Shiva. The construction was accelerated during the reigns of the kings Suryavarman I (1002 -1050) and Suryavarman II (1113 -1150). Its architecture resembles the style of Koh Ker (early 10th century), and Banteay Srey (late 10th century). It adapted to the natural environment and religious function. Suryavarman II, the main architect of most Khmer temples during his reign, wanted to increase the prestige and natural beauty of the Khmer temples, changed the original small sanctuary into one of the greatest Khmer temples of all times. The result was the finest carving statues that depicted the highest standard and unique Khmer architecture. There are many exceptional quality carved stone ornamentations which made the temple extraordinary.
Without a doubt, the temple has the most remarkable setting of all the Khmer architects anywhere in Cambodia. During the French colonial era, Cambodia lost a vast area of territory. Today, the temple is situated on the edge of a plateau at Cambodian-Thai border. The geographic location is a subject of an emotional dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. In 1904, Siam and the French colonial authorities, based on their border commission works, placed Prasat Preah Vihear on Thai side. In 1907, French officers drew up a new map, showing the temple on Cambodia side. In 1954, Thai forces occupied the temple following the withdrawal of French troops from Cambodia. Cambodia protested, and in 1959, asked the International Court of Justice to rule on the ownership. Former U.S. secretary of state Dean Acheson was an attorney for Cambodian goverment. Thailand’s legal team included a former British attorney general, Sir Frank Soskice. On June 15, 1962, the Justice at the Hague officially found that the Preah Vihear Temple situated inside the Cambodia territory, by a vote of 9 to 3. On July 8, 2008, the World Heritage Committee decided to add Prasat Preah Vihear to the World Heritage Site list. The temple complex runs about 800 meters north-south axis. It has four levels and four courtyards. Palace Building was the King’s residence when he came to pay homage to the mighty God. The two wings were the shelters for the pilgrims.
The main temple is used for the highranking supreme divinities. The front stone stairway is a main passage on the North side. The stairway is 8 meters wide and 78 meters long.
The fist flight has 162 steps. The first landing is a large stone statue. Another 54 flight of steps 4 meters wide and 27 meters long leads up to the second landing. It is also decorated with stone statue. The Nagaraj Courtyard is a stone-paved, 7 meters wide by 31.8 meter. The Stairs are in the form of sevenheaded snakes called "Ngu Suang " facing North towards the temple. A shorter avenue leads to level 3, the first courtyard of the temple which resembles Angkor Wat architecture. A short causeway decorated with nagas leads to the inevitable level 4 where the second courtyard, known as Galleries, and the Main Sanctuary are located.
Here are few more pictures of Preah Viear. Enjoy.
Apsaras are supernatural beings in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, appearing as young women of great beauty and elegance. They are proficient in the art of dancing. They are the wives of the Gandharvas, court servants of Indra. They dance to the music made by their husbands, usually in the palaces of the gods, and entertain gods and fallen heroes. As Hinduism and Buddhism made ways into Cambodia, Apsara became a symbol of dancing art. The walls of many Angkorian temples are covered inside and out with bas-reliefs and carvings including Apsara. Nearly 2,000 distinctively rendered apsara carvings adorn the walls of Angkor Wat. Other fine apsara carving arts are also found at the walls and pillars of Bayon temple.
Here are few more pictures of Apsara. Enjoy.
Constructed in early 12th century by King Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat is visually, architecturally and artistically breathtaking. It is a massive three-tiered pyramid crowned by five lotus-like towers rising 65 meters from ground level. It is in the form of a massive temple-mountain dedicated to the Hindu god, Vishnu. Angkor Wat is surrounded by a moat and an exterior wall measuring 1300 meters x 1500 meters. The temple itself is 1 km square and consists of three levels surmounted by a central
tower. The walls of the temple are covered inside and out with bas-reliefs and carvings. Apsara carvings, 2000 of them are on the walls throughout the temple. The exterior walls of the lower level display the most extraordinary bas-reliefs, depicting stories and characters from Hindu mythology and the historical wars of Suryavarman II. The northern reflecting pool in front is the most popular sunrise location.
Here few other pictures of Prasat Angkor Wat.
Angkor Thom (the Great City) was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire, established in the late twelfth century by king Jayavarman VII. It covers an area of 9 square km. There are several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. At the center of the city is Jayavarman's state temple, the Bayon (characterized by many gigantic stone face towers), with the other major sites clustered around the Victory Square immediately to the north. Three centuries earlier, Khmer capital was at Yasodharapura slightly further northwest. Angkor Thom overlapped parts of it. Former state temples (Baphuon, and Phimeanakas) were incorporated into the Royal Palace during the reign of king Jayavarman VII. Angkor Thom remained the capital of the Khmer kingdom until it was abandoned some time prior to 1609.
Here few other pictures of Prasat Angkor Thom.
Banteay Srey loosely translates to "citadel of the women". Banteay Srey was built in the late 10th century by King Rajendravarman, at a time when the Khmer Empire was gaining significant power and territory. The temple was constructed by a Brahmin counselor under a powerful king, Rajendravarman and later under Jayavarman V. It displays some of the finest examples of classical Khmer art. It is relatively small in size with pink sandstone walls densely covered by some of the most beautiful, deep and intricate carvings.
Here few other pictures of Prasat Banteay Srey.
This monument takes its name from the Samre people, country people. It is located to the east of the earth embankment forming the eastern wall of the East Baray. There is a legend connecting the naming of this monument with a farmer who mistakenly killed the king then ascended the throne. Banteay Samre was constructed in the mid 11th century by King Udayadityavarman II, in the heart of Angkor Thorn. The exterior entry gate is a 200 meter causeway paved in laterite and
bordered by a naga balustrade in the style of Angkor Wat. Carvings show Buddhist scenes in a Hindu temple. There are multilated sculptures, believed to be about Buddhist, a sign of religious tolerance of the monument's patron.
Here few other pictures of Prasat Samre.
Srah Srang is a baray (water reservoir) at Angkor located south of the East Baray. It was constructed in the mid 10th century, and modified in the 12th or 13th century. It is an area of land where dikes have been raised to catch and hold water. There are four barays in the Angkor area. The first was built by King Yasovarman I, measuring 3.8km x 880m. The second one measures 7.8km x 880m, almost five times larger than the first. The third and largest baray (8km x 2.2km) is the West Baray, built in the early 11th century. The last baray, baray of Preah Khan, was constructed by Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century.
Here few other pictures of Srah Srang.