Banteay Chhmar Temple


Banteay Chhmar Temple is one of Cambodia’s most important and least understood temples from the Angkor period.  The temple complex, its moat, baray (reservoir) and surrounding unspoilt environment comprises a unique archaeological site and a vital link in Cambodia’s cultural heritage.  For these reasons, it is now one of Cambodia’s top-listed sites for inscription to UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

Banteay Chhmar Temple

Banteay Chhmar Temple

This enormous complex, which was a temple city, is one of the most intriguing in the Khmer empire, both for it’s scale and it’s remote location. Never excavated, Banteay Chhmar Temple in Cambodia fits the picture of a lost Khmer city with its ruined face-towers, carvings, forest surroundings and bird life flying through the temple.  It has a romantic and discovery feel to it.

Banteay Chhmar Temple

Banteay Chhmar Temple

 Banteay Chhmar dates from the late 12th to the early 13thcentury and it means Narrow Fortress. It is thought to have been built by Jayarvarman II. It was later rebuilt by Jayarvarman VII as a funerary temple for his sons and four generals who had been killed in a battle repelling a Cham invasion in 1177.

Like Preah Khan, Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, Banteay Chhmar originally enclosed a city with the temple at the heart. No traces of the city that surrounded the temple remain.

Banteay Chhmar Temple

Banteay Chhmar Temple

The temple area covers 2km by 2 and a half km. It contains the main temple complex and a number of other religious structures and a baray to its east.

Banteay Chhmar Temple

Banteay Chhmar Temple

Inside the mote, a stone rest house and chapel can be seen. The highlight of Banteay Chhmar is the bas-reliefs, which are comparable with the Bayon. 

 Banteay Chhmar Temple, Cambodia travel guide, Cambodia

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