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Preah Khan of Kompong Svay

1 min read

Date: 11th century to early 13th century CE
Style: Bayon
King: Suryavarman I (reign 1002 – 1050 CE) to
Jayavarman VII (reign 1181 – 1220 CE)
Cult: Mahayana Buddhism

 

Preah Khan of Kompong Svay (Khmer: ប្រាសាទព្រះខ័ន​កំពង់ស្វាយ), or Prasat Bakan or Bakan Svay Rolay, is an archaeological temple-city complex located 100 km (60 miles) east of Angkor, in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia.

Preah Khan of Kompong Svay is the largest single religious complex ever built during Angkorian Era, with an exterior enclosure of about 4.5 km (2.8 miles) square.  With a 2.8 km (1.7 mile) long baray, this vast temple-city domain is only matched in scale by Banteay Chhmar Temple, Angkor Wat Temple or Beng Mealea Temple.

On the road leading from Angkor to Champa, Preah Khan of Kompong Svay was a major centre of Khmer power, particularly in the 12th century CE.

Preah Khan of Kompong Svay is very unusual in that it is oriented to the north-east, breaching the traditional Angkorean east-west alignment, perhaps to point in the direction of Wat Phu, another major Khmer spiritual centre located in present-day Laos.

This temple-city's huge strategic importance was also due to the presence of the Phnom Daek iron deposits, some 30 km (19 miles) to the east.  Several iron kilns have been found near Preah Khan of Kompong Svay.

Its isolated location makes it one of the less visited sites in Angkor, but this beautiful place is well worth the trip if you have time.

 

Map of Preah Khan of Kompong Svay



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