The heritage of Hindu and Buddhist temples in Cambodia has always fascinated young historians. Cambodia has been famous for its amazing temples. Indian immigrants have started building temples in Cambodia since a long time. The amalgamation of Hindu and Buddhist ideology is evident in these temples. These temples are beautiful. Few temples have been declared as UNESCO World Heritage.
Are you eager to learn about a few of the oldest temples in Cambodia? How are these linked with different civilizations in India? Then you should keep reading this article. This article covers 8 famous temples in Cambodia.
1. Temples in Cambodia
Temples in Cambodia are considered as holiest temples. The Hindu temples dates back to the 10th century. Buddhist temples dating back to the 12th century are found in Cambodia.
Listed below are a few of the temples that you will find in Cambodia. Look no further if you are trying to find some holy places to calm your mind. We have got your back. Let us together discover the beauty of famous temples in Cambodia.
1.1 Angkor Archaeological Park: Famous Temples in Cambodia
Angkor Archaeological Park is one of the most significant historical sites in Cambodia. It is spread over 400 square kilometers. It contains remains of a richly decorated. It also house numerous ancient Khmer Temple.
It dates back to the 9th to 15th century. The complex was constructed during the Khmer Empire. The park is divided into different structures. Let us now discuss these famous temples in Angkor Archaeological Park.
1.1.1 Angkor Wat Complex
Angkor Wat is the world-famous Hindu temple of Cambodia. Angkor temple is one of the best-preserved temples in Angkor. It is a complex that comprises five concentric rectangular walls. These rectangular walls symbolize cosmic power. It also represents interaction between the oceans and mountains.
The temple has a beautiful main tower. The main tower signifies the mountain Meru. It is the centre of the world for many Hindus.
The outer walls of temples and the outer gallery have many stone sculptures and fine carvings. These sculptures depict various events from the Hindu epics of Ramayana and Mahabharat. In addition, numerous pillars are well-decorated and can leave visitors in awe.
1.1.2 Bayon Temples
Bayon Temple is another significant Buddhist Khmer temple in Cambodia. The temple is considered as the intersection between the earth and the heaven. The Khmer architecture of the temple is different from the rest of the temples.
The stone faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara from the 37 towers directly looks at the face of the visitors. The stone carvings are an important feature of Bayon Temple.
1.2 Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm temple is a famous Buddhist temple constructed in Bayon Architectural style. The temple dates back to the 12th century. The temple is surrounded by huge trees with roots growing over the walls.
The forest cover and the ancient appearance of the temple visits this temple a new experience. It is also called the Jungle Temple.
This famous ancient temple has been popular amongst Hollywood directors. The movie Tomb Raider was produced in this ancient Cambodian temple. Ta Prohm is indeed a temple worth visiting and enjoying the serenity.
1.3 Banteay Srei Temple
Banteay Srei Temple is one of the ancient Hindu temples. It is constructed in Angkorian style. This Hindu temple in Cambodia is considered a gem in Angkorian art.
This Hindu temple is dedicated to Hindu God Shiva. Like Angkor Temples in Cambodia, this temple is decorated with pinkish sandstone. The temple is therefore called the Lady Temple, Pink Temple and Tiny Temple.
The pinkish sandstone makes this temple distinct. It deserves to be visited by one visiting Angkor Wat. The carvings in this temple are magnificent, unlike other temples in Cambodia.
1.4 Preah Vihear-UNESCO World Heritage Temples in Cambodia
This famous temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is located on the edge of a large cliff. It gives a scenic view of North Cambodia. Travel to Cambodia is incomplete without a visit to the historic and religious sites near this temple.
Preah Vihear is in northern Cambodia. The temple is a testimony to the beautiful ancient art in Cambodia Temples. The ancient ruin of the ancient city and the magnificent temple are preserved well. These are popular amongst young tourists and historians.
1.5 Sambor Prei Kuk
It is a temple complex with many ancient ruins scattered across the forest in Kampong Thom. The temple has numerous structures and carvings depicting characters of Hindu Mythology and the Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The intricate carvings also represent divine peace akin to other Angkorian Temples.
The structures and ancient ruins belong to the 7th century. These are considered significant parts of Cambodian History.
1.6 Pre Rup
Pre Rup is one of the many unknown Hindu Temples in Cambodia. It is known to serve as King’s state temple. The temple is located in Siem Reap Cambodia which is known as temple mountain. Siem Reap has numerous Hindu Temples and many ancient ruins.
Pre-Rup was built in 1000 AD by King Rajendra Varman II. It is a Shiva temple. Being a funerary temple, it is visited by Hindus to pay final respect to the deceased by performing funerary rituals. The architecture of the temple is noteworthy. It remains significant and houses many must-visit temples in Cambodia.
1.7 Wat Ounalom
Wat Ounalom is the oldest Buddhist temple in Cambodia. It is located overlooking the riverside of Tonle Sap. It is in the vicinity of the Royal Palace in the Captial of Cambodia. This temple plays as the headquarters of the Buddhist Patriarch.
This beautiful temple is also a Buddhist monastery. There are accommodations for nuns and Buddhist nuns. The temple complex houses around 50 buildings . These buildings includes a meditation hall and stupas.
1.8 Wat Phnom Penh
As per the legend, this Buddhist temple in Cambodia was constructed to house Buddhist statues found floating in the nearby river.
The temple is covered with a garden that calms the visitor’s mind. It is a must-visit place if you are on a religious trip to Cambodia.
2. Tips for Visiting Temples in Cambodia
Remember that you need to respect the local customs and culture when visiting these temples in Cambodia. You need to respect the Hindu and Buddhist ideologies. Some of the tips while visiting the temples in Cambodia are enumerated below.
- Be courteous. Do not give money to beggars especially children near these temples. They may try to scam you to buy local Souvenirs. You may give them food and drinks instead.
- Try hiring a tour guide. They can give insight into many hidden stories of these temples. You may consider other tours like using a cycle hike.
- If you are visiting Southeast Asia, insect repellents are a must. You may experience mosquito bites and insect bites if you venture into temples located in forest areas. Take precautions to avoid malaria and other insect bite-related diseases. Visit a doctor immediately if you get any symptoms of fever and cold. Avoid local medications.
- The monkeys are another menace. Don’t approach them for a picture or give them food. Be dressed appropriately.
- Respect the religious outlook of the people. Do not wear footwear inside temples in Cambodia if it is not permitted.
- Always ask local people for instructions.
- Do not litter in any of these temples in Cambodia.
- Do not touch or scribble on any of the walls.
Visit the National Museum located at Siem Reap before you visited these temples in Cambodia. You will be able to learn about the great history of the nation and the Temples.
You will also be able to realise the connection between the temples of the Mayan Civilization. Also, read about Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII and his religious contribution including the name Holy Sword.
3. Clothes to be Worn
Be dressed in cotton clothes and light colours. You can buy cheap clothing at the Old Market in Siem Reap market. However, do not be scammed by the local markets.
As explained before, Temples in Cambodia are located in remote forest areas. Wear a cloth that covers your entire body. Wear trekking shoes. But as general guidelines avoid mini skirts and revealing clothes concerning both Hindu and Buddhist philosophy.
Temples in Cambodia play an important role in the lives of the people of Cambodia. The Cambodian Temples are unique in their design and architecture. These incredible temples have a vast history. It has a resemblance to Mayan temples found in Mayan Civilisation. Each temple has its importance and legends attached to it.