Preah Khan Temple
The second in a series covering Angkor and Siem Reap in Cambodia
Leaving Banteay Srei and heading south, back towards the center of Angkor, we head for Preah Khan.
Preah Khan was built almost 1,000 years ago, for king Jayavarman, and today is a quasi-ruin partially overtaken by the thick jungle forrest. Surrounded by a moat, coming to Preah Khan gives the feeling of travelling to a temple ruin hidden in the jungle. The temple is ‘partially restorted’ with the caretaking, apparently, intentionally giving this impression. There are numerous piles of stones, building and wall ruins, along with several massive trees whose roots have intertwined with different structures.
The temple complex is a diverse one, in terms of religion. Both Buddhism and Hinduism are portrayed and honor via numerous carvings. In fact, there are supposively over 500 divinitie of various sorts to which Preah Khan was dedicated. Vishnu and Shiva, as well has numerous Mahayanna Buddist divinities are all immortalized in the structure and carvings of Preah Khan.
Walking around Preah Khan is easy, even though it’s one of the larger temple complexes. Similar to Banteay Srei, Preah Khan is built on flat ground and all one level, basically. There are many doorways with thresholds and a few steps, but all in all, it’s definitely one of the easier, more laid-back temples to walk about. Being somewhat overtaken by the jungle, there is a great deal of shade at Preah Kahn. While the mid-day heat can make temple trecking in Angkor daunting (don’t do Banyon in the middle of the day!), this is one temple I would recommend seeing mid-day.
Preah Khan should be on any Angkor visitors’ list. You really are heading off to see an ancient temple/temple ruin hidden in the jungle when you visit Preah Khan. Not too trips have such an option so I recommend it.
Full Preah Khan Gallery