Cambodia, a nation in Southeast Asia recognized for captivating travelers with its temple ruins that enhance the scenery. The temples in Cambodia have stories to tell, but most importantly they serve as architectural treasures. The stone-cut art and carvings in these landmarks possess their own traditional appeal, something that will inspire you to capture for a lifetime.
This blog showcases a compilation of astonishing Cambodia temples, which you must explore during your journey to the country. As you read, you will also acquire important information about each of them while delving into the history of Cambodia’s temples. So, let’s get started!
1. Angkor Wat
Naturally, our list of Cambodia Temples had to commence with this one. This is a prominent attraction of the country which is among the largest temples and the most well-preserved ones. As the reflection of this Khmer archaeological treasure falls on the reservoir adjacent to it, it creates a vista to admire. Once you step into the outer gallery, a series of stone sculptures will welcome you, illustrating various episodes from Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. Even the elaborate pillars will leave you in awe, the sheer precision of carving and the craftsmanship is something that deserves special recognition. This is indeed one of the finest places to visit in Cambodia!
Location: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia Timings: 5AM-6PM
2. Banteay Srei
Often known as the art gallery of Cambodia, Banteay Srei is a Cambodian Hindu temple that is indeed small in size, but the craftsmanship that you will witness surpasses perfection. This intricate ruin is adorned with motifs, deities’ figures, and intricate carvings. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and is the only temple in Angkor that was not commissioned by a ruler, but rather by a Brahmin. It dates back to the 10th century and was among the first temples to be restored in Angkor.
Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia
3. Neak Pean
Truly a petite sanctuary, Neak Poan gracefully resides amidst a small man-made lake. The designation, Neak Pean, literally signifies ‘twisted serpents’, and according to numerous historians, the architecture and its surroundings symbolize Anavatapta, a mythical lake believed to possess therapeutic waters. This Cambodian Buddhist temple is closely linked to Preah Khan Temple as well. As entrance into the temple premises is prohibited, it is more of a sight to behold. Therefore, if time is limited, skipping a visit would be understandable.
Location: Krong Siem Reap, CambodiaTimings: 5AM-6PM
Essential Reading: 15 Astonishing Cambodia Monuments That Should Be On Your Bucket List
4. Banteay Kdei
Constructed during the twelfth century, Banteay Kdei will captivate you with its extravagant garudas. Also referred to as the Fortress of Chambers, the temple was adorned with sculptures of women. Today, it lies in ruins and is usually less crowded, offering an ideal setting for a serene experience. The temple can be explored in approximately an hour, and it is recommended that you also visit Sra Srang, the pool of cleansing rituals.
Location: Angkor Archaeological Park, Krong Siem Reap 17000, CambodiaTimings: 7:30AM-5PM
5. Ta Prohm
Another of the most captured temples in Cambodia, Ta Prohm is distinguished by its intricate network of roots that envelop the structures. It might even give the impression of an octopus clinging onto something precious. According to a Sanskrit stone sculpture, the depictions of its authorities were once depicted on the temple walls. As you stroll through the premises, you will witness how nature has triumphed over human-made remnants; however, this amalgamation is what sets Ta Prohm apart.
Place: Angkor Archaeological Park, Krong Siem Reap, CambodiaOperating Hours: 5AM-6PM
The Cambodian temple ruins are captivating on their own, and Bayon will capture all of your attention with its sculptures carved from rock. It is believed that these sculptures depict Avalokitesvara (Compassionate Bodhisattva), but some scholars have also noticed similarities to King Jayavarman VII, suggesting that the king saw himself as a divine ruler. Unlike other temples in Cambodia, Bayon is situated in dense forests and lacks a surrounding wall or moat. This unique aspect was later understood by scholars who realized that Ta Prohm actually marks the center of the city of Angkor Thom.
Place: Angkor Thom Angkor Archeological Park, Krong Siem Reap, 17000, CambodiaOperating Hours: 7:30AM-5:30PM
7. Banteay Samre
Banteay Samre exemplifies the integration of Hinduism and Buddhism. It was constructed during the same era as Angkor Wat and displays similarities in architectural features such as the style of towers and railings. Today, Bayon remains in pristine condition, with its intricate carvings still captivating, thanks to meticulous restoration work. Banteay Samre is located away from the other temples in Cambodia, making it less crowded and ideal for travelers seeking a more tranquil tourist attraction.
Place: 17000 Sok San Road, Krong Siem Reap, CambodiaOperating Hours: 7:30AM-5:30PM
8. Phnom Bakheng
A sanctuary that is approximately two centuries older than Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng stood as an architectural milestone for the original capital of Khmer Empire, Yasodharapura. The five-tiered spire of the temples catches the attention and so do the four towers situated on the summit. The sanctuary is primarily visited during late afternoons by many tourists as it offers a spectacular viewpoint for viewing the sunset.
Location: Angkor Archaeological Park, Krong Siem Reap 17000, CambodiaTimings: 7AM-6:30PM
9. Preah Khan
Preah Khan used to serve as a sacred sanctuary for the followers of Hinduism and Buddhism. The temple was constructed by King Jayavarman VII in the twelfth century, symbolizing the triumph over Chams. As the name Preah Khan literally means Holy Sword, we can envision the pride the king felt in the event and the creation of the structure. It is also believed that Preah Khan served as a residence for the king while he awaited the completion of Angkor Thom. This was indeed a magnificent temple in Cambodia as it was dedicated to around a hundred deities and hosted eighteen grand celebrations.
Location: Krong Siem Reap, CambodiaTimings: 7:30AM-5PM
10. Pre Rup
Previously served as the king’s official temple, Pre Rup was constructed in 961 by Rajendravarman II. This Cambodian Hindu temple is devoted to Lord Shiva and has been connected with burial customs. Although it was constructed using gray sandstone which were quite fragile and most of the temple has somehow not withstood the test of time, you will be able to observe intricate intel carving when on the South-west Tower. This place is particularly well-liked for beautiful sunset views.
Area: Angkor Archaeological Park, Krong Siem Reap 17000, CambodiaOperating Hours:
Additional Reading: The Cambodia Nightlife Guide: Bars, Restaurants, Shops, & More
Desire to step foot on these, without any difficulties and within an ideal budget?! Well, plan a cultural getaway and enjoy a relaxing Cambodian vacation with Fred and Fuzzys and get ready for an unforgettable experience.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cambodia Temples
Q: How many temples are there in Cambodia?
A: There are approximately 4000 temples in Cambodia, out of which most of them are situated in Siem Reap, Battambang, Preah Vihar, and Kampong Thom.
Q: How old are the temples in Cambodia?
A: The temples in Cambodia are around 900 years old and still to this day, these temples hold great significance and reflect the country’s history.
Q: What is the renowned temple in Cambodia?
A: Angkor Wat is the most renowned temple in Cambodia which attracts a lot of tourists’ attention throughout the year.
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