The heritage of Hindu and Buddhist temples in Cambodia has always fascinated young historians. Cambodia has been famous for its marvellous temples. Indian immigrants have been building temples here in Cambodia for a long time. The amalgamation of Hindu and Buddhist ideology is evident in these temples. These temples are beautiful. Few temples have been declared UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Are you excited to learn more about some of Cambodia’s ancient temples? How are these linked with different civilizations in India? Then it would be best if you kept reading this article. This article covers eight famous temples located in Cambodia that are must-visits.
1. Dive into the Beautiful Temples in Cambodia
The Hindu temples date 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. Together, let us discover the beauty of these famous temples located in Cambodia.
1.1 Angkor Archaeological Park
Angkor Archaeological Park is one of the most significant historical sites in Cambodia. It is spread over 400 square kilometres. It contains remains of a richly decorated. It also houses numerous ancient Khmer temples.
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.
i. 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 the interaction between the oceans and mountains.
The temple has a beautiful central tower. The main building 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 delicate 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.
ii. Bayon Temples
Bayon Temple is another significant Buddhist Khmer temple in Cambodia. The temple is considered to be the intersection between earth and heaven. The temple’s Khmer architecture differs from the rest of the temples.
The stone faces of the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara from the 37 towers directly look at the beginning of the visitors. The stone carvings are an essential 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. Giant trees surround the temple, with roots growing over the walls.
The forest cover and the ancient appearance of the temple make 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 the Hindu God Shiva. Like the Angkor Temples of 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 and a sight to view.
1.4 Preah Vihear
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 historical 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 ruins of the old 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
One of the numerous undiscovered Hindu temples within Cambodia is Pre Rup. It is known to serve as the King’s state temple. The temple is located in Siem Reap, Cambodia, or 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 is still important and has many of Cambodia’s must-see temples.
1.7 Wat Ounalom
Wat Ounalom is the oldest Buddhist temple in Cambodia. It is located overlooking the riverside of Tonle Sap. It is near the Royal Palace in the capital of Cambodia. This temple acts 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 include 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 for a religious trip to Cambodia.
2. Tips for Visiting Temples in Cambodia
Remember to respect the local customs and culture when visiting these temples. It would be best if you appreciated the Hindu and Buddhist ideologies. Some of the tips for calling are enumerated below.
- Be courteous. Do not give money to beggars, especially children, near these temples. They may try to scam you into buying local souvenirs. You may provide them with 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 and insect bites if you venture into temples 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 if it is not permitted.
- Always ask local people for instructions.
- Do not litter in any of these temples.
- Do not touch or scribble on any of the walls.
Visit the National Museum located at Siem Reap before you visit these temples. You will be able to learn about the great history of the nation and the Temples.
You will also be able to realize the connection between the temples of the Mayan Civilization. Also, read about Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII and his religious contributions, including the 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 previously mentioned, Cambodian temples are situated in isolated forest regions. Wear a cloth that covers your entire body. Wear trekking shoes. But as general guidelines, avoid mini skirts and revealing clothes concerning Hindu and Buddhist philosophy.
In Cambodia, temples are an integral part of the people’s lives. The Cambodian Temples are unique in their design and architecture. These incredible temples have a vast history. It resembles the Mayan temples found in the Mayan civilization. Each temple has its importance and legends attached to it.
Dithiesh is a travel enthusiast with love for the Australian flora and Fauna. He loves reading about the unique life I’m Australia. He also loves writing and sharing his research on his blog.