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12

Jun
2020
Three lesser-known temples in Angkor Complex that you should not miss
Posted By : Threeland Travel / Cambodia Travel Guide

Cambodia is a magical country full of man-made marvels and culture tours. Home to the world-famous Angkor complex, ancient temples and rich beauty embracing the Khmer culture, travelers who come here can write their own chapters on their greatest discovery journeys in the friendliest and merry way. In the last part, we have mentioned our exclusive tips when exploring the 3 most popular temples in the Angkor Complex. Let's now continue our Cambodia holidays local tips with the following 3 temples: Neak Pean, Ta Som and Preah Khan.

Photo: A corner of Ta Prohm Temple

1/ Neak Pean Temple

This temple was built by King Jayavarman VII in the 12th century as a Buddhist temple. It was thought that it was built as a hospital where bathing in one of the pools would cure disease. Each of the four pools represent water, earth, fire and water.
They are connected to a central pool (a replica of Lake Anavatapta in the Himalayas) by a stone channel. Each of these channels are looked over by an Elephant, Bull, Horse, and Lion – one of the Four Great Animals. Each channel represents the head of one of the great animals except for the east which is a human head instead of a bull.
When the temple was first built, the sculptures of the four heads sat on the floor of the lake. They can still be seen in the dry season when the water is low, but are completely covered in the rainy season.
This temple is a large pond 70 metres wide. It’s surrounded by four smaller ponds with a circular island in the middle. The island is made up of seven tiers made from laterite and is in the centre of the middle pond. 
When the temple was first built, there would have been doors on each side of the sanctuary. However, at some point in history, they were closed up with only the one eastern door remaining. These false doors contain carvings of Lokeshvara, a Buddhist deity known for healing. On the east entrance, there is a depiction of Buddha.

Photo: Neak Pean Temple

2/ Ta Som Temple

Ta Som is a medium-sized temple in the Bayon style. This means, it’s a Buddhist monument from the late 12th century. Architecture and decorations are typical of the reign of Jayavarman VII, whose fame is to have built more structures than any other Khmer king.  The temple is one of the Khmer temples with face towers, which are considered to be a hallmark of the Bayon style, although they cannot be seen at all monuments from this period.
Ta Som represents both Hindu and Buddhist characters, while over the years the official Angkor religion shifted back and forth. This charming site has plenty of unique angles for a photoshoot that you should not miss.

Photo: Ta Som Temple

3/ Preah Khan Temple

Preah Khan was constructed on the site of Jayavarman VII's liberation over the Chams invasion in 1191. Its modern name which translated into “holy sword", is inspired by the original Nagara Jayasri (holy city of victory).
This temple plays an important role in Cambodia’s history, as it is considered to have served as the first residence of Jayavarman VII within the area of Angkor and, due to this function, to have kept the royal insignia of this famous king, maybe for about a decade. Most probably, Preah Khan was the temporary capital of Jayavarman, while he was preparing his later capital, the nearby Angkor Thom.
Previously, the temple was covered with an unusually voracious plant, and very abandoned, offering only uncertainty. Clearance works have been conducted with continuous respect for the large trees which offer a pleasing appearance to the architecture without posing any immediate threat. Around the same period, some partial anastomosis has restored numerous buildings that were located in an appropriate state of repair and provided some special value in their architecture. 

Photo: Preah Khan

With our slogan “Simply your best local friend”, our travel expert at Threeland Travel is delighted to give you our insightful tips and guiding that will ensure your amazing experience when travelling to Indochina in general and to Cambodia in particular.  Book your cambodia tour package with us or contact our travel guru NOW at help@threeland.com to create a thorough pre-trip planning to Cambodia for you!

See more: Our exclusive tips when travelling to the 3 most favorite temples in Angkor Complex