15 Temples In Cambodia with Marvelous Architecture - 2020

Temples in Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Bayon, Banteay Srei, Angkor Thom, Preah Khan, Pre Rup, Phnom Krom, Beng Mealea, Koh Ker, Ta Prohm, Preah Vihear Temple, Banteay Samré, Phimeanakas Temple, West Mebon, Baksei Chamkrong.

Ancient Cambodia is famous for its beautiful temples which give a glimpse of Hinduism and Buddhism religion. Every year, millions of people across the world travel to the country to take a look at the beautiful architecture of the Cambodia temples built between 9th to 15th centuries. Some of these temples are Angkor Thom, Phnom Krom, Koh Ker, and many more.

The most famous temples in Cambodia are the Angkorian temples. The star attraction is the Angkor Wat complex which has 72 temples inside. The main temple is called Angkor Wat. Some of the other Angkor temples are Pre Rup, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei and many more.

The unique fusion of Buddhist and Hindu religious sites makes the temples like Preah Khan or Banteay Samré more interesting. Moreover, some of them like Bayon, Beng Mealea etc. have been constructed in the deep jungles that add to the attraction.
01

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat
This magnificent temple, which is also the best-preserved temple in Angkor, has 5 concentric rectangular walls and also moats alongside. This  symbolizes a cosmic chain of mountains and ocean. The central tower, which is the main tower, represents the mountain Meru, which is said to be the center of the Hindu and Buddhist universe.

While exploring the outer gallery, you will find a series of stone sculptures which has structural illustrations from various episodes from Hindu epics Ramayana and Mahabharata. The beautiful ornate pillars along with sheer precision of carving and the artistry will surely leave you in awe.

Location: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Timings: From 5 AM to 6 PM.
02

Bayon

Bayon
This beautiful Khmer temple ruin is located amid dense jungles of Angkor with no wall or moat encircling it. This temple was built between the late 12th and early 13th century as the state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII.

The temple features 50 pillars with around 200 gently smiling faces, each of which are said to represent divine peace. Each face is 4 meters high and is facing one of the cardinal directions of the compass.

Location: Angkor Thom Angkor Archeological Park, Krong Siem Reap, 17000, Cambodia.

Timings: From 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
03

Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei
Banteay Srei, or the Temple of Women, is a known jewel of Khmer art which dates back to the 10th century. This Hindu temple, having a smaller size compared to other temples, will mesmerize you with its artistry which you will find in the motifs, figures of gods, and also in the detailed carving.

This temple, which is dedicated to Lord Shiva, has reliefs which depicts many mythological Hindu events such as the duel between the monkey princes, King Bali, and his brother Sugreeva; Narasimha's slaying of the demon Hiranyakasipu; and the great burning of the Khandava Forest.

Location: Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Timings: From 5:00 AM to 5:30 PM.
04

Angkor Thom

Angkor Thom
Angkor Thom was the last and most enduring capital of the Khmer empire and was established in the late twelfth century by King Jayavarman VII.

It is an old fortified city spread out in various areas, with five different entrance gates. The place houses the famous Bayon temple on its premises. A noteworthy highlight is the “Terrace of Elephants” which is an impressive 350 meters in length and is said to depict a famous battle of Khmer history.

Location: Angkor Archeological Park, Krong Siem Reap, 17000, Cambodia.

Timings: From 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
05

Preah Khan

Preah Khan
Preah Khan, one of the temples in Cambodia, was built by King Jayavarman VII in the twelfth century and attracts followers of both Hinduism and Buddhism. The name Preah Khan translates to Holy Sword. The temple was dedicated to about a hundred gods and served as a venue for eighteen grand festivals.

Apart from being a holy place, this place was also a university teaching element of Buddhist, Vaishnava, and Shiva worship which can be glimpsed while visiting the galleries and the two libraries inside the large complex. Visitors feel awed while exploring the Prasat Preah Stung, a central tower with 4 ornate Bayon-like carvings.

Location: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Timings: From 7:30 AM to 5 PM.
06

Pre Rup

Pre Rup is one of the Cambodia temples which was built in the 9th century to serve as the king’s state temple. This Hindu temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva, is entirely made of brick and grey sandstone.

The temple is also associated with funerary rituals. Though a major part of the temple has been ruined over the years, its extrinsic carvings can still be viewed on some of the towers, especially on the South-west side. The temple attracts visitors especially during the sunrise or the sunset for its spectacular view.

Location: Angkor Archaeological Park, Krong Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia.

Timings: From 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.
07

Phnom Krom

Phnom Krom
The temple ruins of Phnom Krom on top of a hill is one of the temples in Cambodia. The temple dates back to the 9 century and is dedicated to Hindu gods Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.

The climb to the top of the hilltop can be steep but while climbing, the visitors are mesmerized with the spectacular views of the surrounding villages on the way and are often rewarded with sights of mountain goats and water buffalos. While on the top, visitors get the stunning view of nearby Tonle Sap Lake and vicinity.

Location: On top of Phnom Krom mountain in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Timings: From 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
08

Beng Mealea

Beng Mealea
Beng Mealea, also known as Boeng Mealea, is one of the temples in Cambodia from the Angkor Wat period. This ancient ruin is ideal for those looking for a bit of jungle adventure as you get to walk and climb the very large mossy stones of the ruins as you wish.

Carved out of red sandstone, Beng Mealea is a temple in miniature. The doorways are very low and uncomfortably pass through, even for a kid but the place is known for having some beautiful detailed and intricate carvings which make it worth visiting.

Location: Cambodia, on the ancient royal highway to Preah Khan Kompong Svay.

Timings:
From 7 am to 5:30 pm.
09

Koh Ker

Koh Ker
Koh Ker was the capital of ancient Cambodia from AD928 to AD944 and was built to worship the god of happiness, Trey Bhuvaneswari by King Jayavarman IV.

The place is currently almost hidden in heavy foliage and consumed by nature and has over 40 different ruins around the grounds with some of them spread inside the jungle. The most identifiable temple is Prasat Thom, a pyramid-like structure that is similar to Mayan temples found in South America. Visitors can climb to the top for a breathtaking view of the whole area.

Location: Kulen district, Northern Cambodia. 120 kilometers away from Siem Reap.

Timings: From 8 am to 5 pm.
10

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm is a royal monastery that was built in the 12 century. The temple is located amidst the dense Cambodian jungle and is recognized by its labyrinth pattern of the Vines resting all over the ruins. There are giant tree roots  of the vine which sprawl along the ground covering the whole structure.

There was a time when this place was the home to more than 12,500 people, and the temple was a place of worship for thousands of people who came from surrounding villages. The Sanskrit inscriptions on the stones all over the place tells  the visitors about the history of the temple and the story of its ruins.

Location: Angkor Archaeological Park, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Timings: From 5 AM to 6 PM.
11

Preah Vihear Temple

Preah Vihear Temple
The Temple of Preah Vihear is located atop a 525-meter cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains and is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It has been called an “outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture” by UNESCO.

The construction of the temple took place between the 9th to 12th century. The unique architectural complex is actually a series of sanctuaries. These sanctuaries  are linked by a system of pavements and staircases which are intended to represent Mt Meru of Hindu and Buddhist ideology.

Location: Preah Vihear Province Cambodia.

Timings: Sun: From 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Mon - Friday from 7:00 AM to 5:00 PM and Sat from 6:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
12

Banteay Samré

Banteay Samré
Another Angkor Wat period Cambodia temples, Banteay Samre showcases the unity of Hinduism and Buddhism. Banteay in Khmer stands for the citadel. The architecture and style of the temple bears a very similar resemblance to other Hinduism and Buddhism temples nearby and can be witnessed in the style of towers and balustrades.

The highlights of the temple include the interior moat which when filled with water would have given the temple a mystical and peaceful sensation. Visitors are also enchanted by the breathtaking location of the temple set within beautiful rice paddies and local villages.

Location: 17000 Sok San Road, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Timings: From 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
13

Phimeanakas Temple

Phimeanakas Temple
The Phimeanakas Temple, also known as Vimeanakas, is one of the Hindu Cambodia temples in the Khleang style. The temple was built at the end of the 10th century, during the reign of Rajendravarman, then completed by Suryavarman I and is located within the royal palace compound.

The name 'Phimeanakas' derives from the Sanskrit words 'vimana' and 'akasha' which together mean 'celestial palace of the gods'. The temple is in the shape of a three-tier pyramid and is made mostly of laterite through the upper gallery.

Location: Royal Palace, Angkor Thom, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Timings: From 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.
14

West Mebon

West Mebon
The West Mebon is a small temple in ruins which is located on the central Man-made island of the reservoir West Baray. The temple can be accessed by motorboats from the southern dam of the Baray.

It was built by King Udai Adityavarman II in the eleventh century and had three tower-passages on each side with stone carvings. The temple compound encompasses a large square pond with a sandstone platform in the center. There was a gigantic bronze Vishnu statue which was excavated in 1936 to National Museum in Phnom Penh.

Location: Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Timings: From 7:30 AM to 5:30 PM.
15

Baksei Chamkrong

Baksei Chamkrong
Baksei Chamkrong is a small Hindu temple located on the left side of the southern gate of Angkor complex. The temple is dedicated to Lord Shiva and initially had a golden image of him. The temple was built by King Harshavarman I for his father Yasovarman.

The temple has an architecture of a very steep pyramidal temple topped with a single Prasat tower. In the east of the temple, visitors can explore parts of the remains of a brick wall and a gopura with statues of guardian lions, one of which remains.

Location: Angkor, Krong Siem Reap 17000, Cambodia.

Timings: From 7:30 am to 5:30 pm.
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People Also Ask About Cambodia

  1. Which is the famous temple in Cambodia?

    1. Angkor Wat: The temple is the heart and soul of Cambodia and is said to be the largest religious monument in the world, originally dedicated to Lord Vishnu and later on transformed into a Buddhist temple.

    2. Bayon: Bayon is a richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor and is one of the most famous temples of Cambodia  known for its over 200 gently smiling faces on 50 pillars.

    3. Ta Prohm: Ta Prohm is the most photographed temple of Cambodia. It is famous for its enormous tree roots snaking across crumbling stone walls of the temple with ancient trees towering overhead.
  2. Which are the hindu temples in Cambodia?

    1. Angkor Wat: The most famous and the largest Hindu temple of the world was dedicated to Lord Vishnu.

    2. Banteay Srei: Also known as Temple of Woman was dedicated to Lord Shiva and also had reliefs depicting Hindu mythology characters.

    3. Preah Khan: This temple was dedicated to hundreds of Hindu gods and celebrated eighteen Hindu festivals.

    4. Pre Rup: This temple was dedicated to Lord Shiva and was also associated with funerary rituals.

    5. Phnom Krom: This hill-top temple was dedicated to Hindu gods Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma.

    6. Preah Vihear Temple: This outstanding masterpiece of Khmer architecture was dedicated to Hindu god Shiva.
  3. Which city has most of the temples in Cambodia?

    The town Siem Reap is number one tourism destination having the most number of Cambodia temples which attract millions of visitors each year. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, there are approximately 50 Buddhist and Hindu temples dating back to the 12th century within its grounds.

    Next is the sprawling Angkor Thom complex where you'll find one of the most photogenic temples in the site, Bayon. Some of the other temple attractions of this city are Ta Prohm, Baksei Chamkrong, Banteay Srei, and Pre Rup.
  4. What are the dos and don'ts in Cambodia temples?

    - Carry a bottle of water with you, especially during summers to quench your thirst and keep yourself dehydrated.
    - Be aware that these are historic and religious sites are not mere attractions, but places of worship. Be respectful towards the monks using these sites for worship.
    - Do not touch or lean against the structures of the temple. Cambodian temples are more than centuries-old and may give way.
    - The best time to visit the temples are either in the early morning when the sun is rising or in the evening after sunset when it’s cooler. Moreover, the  beauty of these places is enhanced during the  sunrises and sunsets drawing a lot of visitors during that time.
    - If you’re going to those temples which are in the remote and deep jungle of Cambodia, it is crucial to wear dresses with long sleeves and full length trousers to avoid insect bites.
    - You should wear shoes that are  strong and closed. This is required as you might be climbing up very steep and old stairs from where it’s easy to lose footholds.
  5. What is the specialty of temples in Cambodia?

    - Most of the temples in Cambodia are renowned for the beautiful Khmer architecture with extrinsic artwork.
    - Most of the temples are Hindu temples as the ancient Khmer dynasty who ruled Cambodia for a long period followed Hinduism.
    - Some of the temples had both Hinduism and Buddhism coexisting peacefully.
    - All the centuries-old temples have been preserved in their natural state as much as possible.
    - Several of these temples are located in remote jungle areas that have added beauty to the temples.

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