Wednesday, 18 April 2012

P: Preah Kahn

Preah Khan temple is within the Angkor Wat City. It was built in the twelfth century during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. This temple was built in a flat design with rectangular galleries. It was both Buddhist and Hindu religions, which historians thought must caused some conflict. Angkor Thom lay to the north-east of Preah Khan, with Jayataka Baray, which lay to the west. The temple was run by a very large type of organisation accommodating up to 100,000 officials and servants.

King Jayavarman gained his victory when in combat with the Chams in 1191. The word Chams, stands for "Holy Sword", the original name was Nagar Jayasari - which meant "Holy City of Victory".
It was believed that the area where the temple stood had once been occupied by Royal Palaces for the King Yasavaraman II and also Tribhvranadityvarman. According to history the statue of Bodhisattva AvalokiteÅ›varary, had been carved in the image of the King's father was dedicated in 1191 by his mother who later was commemorated at Ta Phrohm.  History has given lots of information and any independent  statue's found within the temple were removed to safety. In the foundations of the temple, stood a tall and wide, block of stone or wood which was inscribed with bas-relief. This was used for funerals and commemorated purposes, it also had titles and names painted onto it.

In 1927 - 1932 the temple jungle was cleared but in certain areas tree shoots had grown up through the foundations of the buildings. Little could be done to return the beautiful  temple to its original form. Apart from the trees and vegetation the temple structure was in a poor state of decay. Despite its condition the temple was believed to have been quite magnificent in its day, with its gold statues, silver, gems, pearls and perfume.

Discovery of this beautiful temple, being found under prolific conditions of jungle vegetation, it was agreed to leave the temple as it stood but to run a maintenance program to help restore it without falsifying its history.


  1. Hi Jenni .. I'm glad they've left the jungle within the Temple .. and are just going to 'maintain' it so it's not lost to history .. cheers Hilary

  2. Hi Hilary,

    This was my favourite of all temples when I was out there. I agree with what you say, nice to retain a little history.

    Cheers Jenni