16 December 2012

BAKHENG - THE OVERLOOKED TEMPLE

Phnom Bakheng from the air
Bakheng temple, located on top of the mountain Phnom Bakheng is often left in the shadow of the sunset and the thousands of tourists who trample around the levels of the temple mount - which is a bit sad. After all, this temple symbolizes Mount Meru and the five peaks of the mythological mountain.

Phnom Bakheng and it's temple date back to the 10th century A.D. and is an important temple and part of the very early Angkorean culture. 

I had been up on the mountain twice. Once, years ago to view Angkor Wat in the distance and once to give the famous sunset a try. The first time, I had not even known anything about the temple. At that time it was not even under restoration yet and if at all it left a big pile of rubble and stones in my memory. The second time I just remember tourist everywhere and I had trouble to find all the spots of the temple I wanted to see. 


Bakheng temple before sunset
It is a huge temple mount, initially with five levels and 108 sanctuaries and located at the centre of the historic city of Yashodharapura. Today, heavy restoration work is still continuing, though much of it has been completed already. Posted sings on the way up will tell the interested visitor what has been done here. Despite the tourist craze the temple is definitely worth a visit, during non-peak hours!



View from Phnom Bakheng mountain

Central shrine


Shiva Lingam









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