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Preah Vihear Temple

1 min read

Date: 10th century – middle of 11th century CE (several stages of construction)
King: Jayavarman V, Suryavarman I , and Udayadityavarman II
Cult: Hindu


Preah Vihear (Khmer: ប្រាសាទព្រះវិហារ) is an ancient Hindu temple situated atop a 525 m (1,722') cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia.

Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the Angkor temples, affording fantastic views for many kilometres east and west to the Dangrek range, marking the border with Thailand, and south across the plain of Preah Vihear province, some 500 m (1,600') below.

Due to the configuration of the terrain, Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north-south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east.

Preah Vihear was supported and modified by successive kings, and bears elements of several architectural styles.

As well as offering amazing views, the temple itself is beautiful, and has some wonderful carved pediments and lintels.  Scenes include a delightful Churning of the Ocean of Milk, Yama on his buffalo, formidable kalas, and Shiva and Uma on the bull Nandi.


Map of Preah Vihear

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