Preah Vihear is renown as the “temple of temples”. In 2008 it was listed in the World Heritage site list by the UNESCO. Coming here visitors will have the opportunity to explore the beauty of culture, history and many mysteries.
Preah Vihear is a very impressive hindu temple in Cambodia. It is situated on top of a 547m high hill in the Dangrek Mountain range, Champasak province, near the Thai border, about 100km from Siem Reap. The temple is composed of a series of sanctuaries linked by a system of pavements and staircases.
Preah Vihear Temple is not only a world cultural heritage, an unique tourist attraction but also the center of a dispute between Thailand and Cambodia for years.
Preah Vihear’s architectural layout stretches to 800m. It was built in the 9th century and dedicated to Shiva – the god of destruction and creation in Hinduism and the mountain gods Sikharesvara and Bhadresvara. The construction has taken many centuries to be finished, during the reign of 7 kings of the old Khmer empire.
The structure of Preah Vihear temple is divided into 3 layers with the height increasing gradually from the north – south direction, total 120m high. The first floor is where the main gate of the temple is located. The second floor is an architectural cluster built in the Banteay Srei style. The third floor, located on the top of the mountain, is the center of the complex.
Nowadays, the main hall has been reconstructed to become a ritual place, where the monks can bless the visitors or devoted Buddhists. In surrounding area there are many libraries and towers, but over thousands of years, those works have been severely damaged.
Preah Vihear temple does not have mysterious beauty like Ta Prohm nor impressive corridors like in Angkor Wat, etc., but surely it will brings tourists new experiences in the journey to discover more about Cambodia’s history and culture.