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The Amazing Reasons Tourists Love Bakong

Bakong temple

THE HISTORY

  • Bakong was built in 881 under Indravarman I (877 – 889)

         ប្រាសាទបាគងត្រូវបានសាងសង់ឡើងក្នុងឆ្នាំ 881 ក្រោមការដឹកនាំរបស់ព្រះបាទឥន្ទ្រវរ្ម័នទី 1 (877 889)

  • Bakong is the official temple mountain of the city of Hariharalaya

         ប្រាសាទបាគងជាប្រាសាទភ្នំផ្លូវការនៃទីក្រុងហរិហារៈ

  • Being the first to be built in sandstone and the first Khmer temple-mountain, Bakong served as Indravarman’s state temple when the Khmer capital was located in Hariharalaya (modern-day Roluos).

         ប្រាសាទបាគងជាប្រាសាទរដ្ឋរបស់ព្រះបាទឥន្ទ្រវរ្ម័ននៅពេលរដ្ឋធានីខ្មែរស្ថិតនៅក្នុងទីក្រុងហរិហារៈ (រលួសសម័យទំនើប)

RELIGIOUS ORIENTATION

The temple is dedicated to the god Shiva, Hindu

ប្រាសាទនេះត្រូវបានឧទ្ទិសដល់ព្រះសិវៈ

LOCATION OF BAKONG TEMPLE

  • In Roluos, approximately 13 kilometers (8 miles) east of Siem Reap; it locates just south of Preah Ko

          ប្រាសាទបាគងនៅប្រហែល 13 គីឡូម៉ែត្រភាគខាងកើតនៃខេត្តសៀមរាប។ វាស្ថិតនៅភាគខាងត្បូងនៃប្រាសាទព្រះគោ

  • It lies about 1640 ft (500 m) past Preah Ko

          វាស្ថិតនៅប្រហែល 1640 ហ្វីត (500 ម៉ែត្រ)ហួសប្រាសាទព្រះគោ

  • The outermost enclosure is bounded by a moat about 2624 ft (800 m) per side and included the residential area

          ទីធ្លាព័ទ្ធជុំវិញប្រាសាទត្រូវបានចងភ្ជាប់ដោយគូរទឹកប្រហែល 2624 ហ្វីត (800 ម៉ែត្រ) ក្នុងមួយចំហៀងនិងរួមបញ្ចូលតំបន់លំនៅដ្ឋាន

LENGTH OF VISIT

This is estimated between 30 – 60 minutes

រយៈពេលទស្សនកិច្ចប្រាសាទប្រហែល 30 ទៅ 60 នាទី

SUGGESTED STARTING POINT:

East entrance is suggested as starting point.

ច្រកចូលខាងកើតជាចំណុចចាប់ផ្តើមនៃការទស្សនា

SUGGESTED ENDING POINT:​

West entrance is suggested as ending point.

ច្រកចូលខាងលិចជាចំណុចបញ្ចប់នៃការទស្សនា

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The temple sits on a five-level pyramid base, representative of the five sacred peaks of Mount Meru.

          ប្រាសាទនេះឋិតនៅលើមូលដ្ឋានសាជីជ្រុងប្រាំកម្រិតដែលត្រូវបានសាងសង់ឡើងដោយតំណាងឱ្យកំពូលភ្នំដ៏ពិសិដ្ឋទាំងប្រាំនៃភ្នំមេរុ។

  • When you arrive at the start of the causeway, there is a wonderful 7-headed naga at the causeway. This is a prototype for Angkor Wat

          នៅពេលដែលអ្នកទៅដល់ផ្តើមផ្លូវអ្នក​នឹង​ឃើញមាននាគ ក្បាល 7 ដ៏អស្ចារ្យនៅផ្លូវ។ នេះគឺជាគំរូដើមសម្រាប់ប្រាសាទអង្គរវត្ត

  • The temple has the best-preserved statues of Khmer-style lions in Angkor.

          ប្រាសាទនេះមានរូបចម្លាក់តោបែបខ្មែរដែលត្រូវបានអភិរក្សបំផុតនៅអង្គរ

  • High-quality moonstones elegance the entrances to sanctuaries and the staircases of stages

          មានថ្មព្រះចន្ទដែលមានគុណភាពខ្ពស់នៅតែល្អជាច្រើន នៅតាមច្រកចូលនិងតាមជណ្ដើរប្រាសាទ

  • There were three enclosure walls and two moats around the temple, but now there are only two inner walls and a moat. The modern road runs along the exterior of the second enclosure wall.

          នៅទីនោះពីមុនមានជញ្ជាំងបីនិងរបងពីរនៅជុំវិញប្រាសាទតែពេលនេះមានជញ្ជាំងផ្នែកខាងក្នុងពីរនិងគូរទឹកមួយ។

          ផ្លូវថ្នល់ឥឡូវនេះរត់តាមបណ្តោយផ្នែកខាងក្រៅនៃជញ្ជាំងទី 2

  • A naga-lined earthen causeway runs over a moat that encircles the temple between the second and first enclosure walls.

         ផ្លូវដីដែលមានរូបសំណាកនាគជាជួរ ឆ្លងកាត់គូរទឹក  ជាផ្លូវព័ទ្ធជុំវិញប្រាសាទរវាងជញ្ជាំងទី 2 និងទី 1

  • There is a massive seven-headed naga still in good condition. Its heads rears at the far eastern end of the causeway.

          មានរូបសំណាកនាគក្បាល 7 ដ៏អស្ចារ្យ ដ៏ធំសម្បើមនៅតែស្ថិតក្នុងស្ថានភាពល្អ ។

          ក្បាលរបស់វាលាតសន្ធឹងនៅចុងម្ខាងនៃផ្លូវ

VISIT

layout, Bakong

  1. First enclosure របងទី1
  2. Gopura គោបុរៈ
  3. Access avenue ច្រកផ្លូវចូល
  4. Rectangle buildings អគារចតុកោណ
  5. Chapels អាគារបូជាតូច
  6. Prasat with air vents ប្រាសាទដែលមានច្រកខ្យល់ចេញចូល
  7. Prasat ប្រាសាទ
  8. Pyramid ពីរ៉ាមីត
  9. Accesses to the stairways ផ្លូវចូលទៅជណ្តើរ
  10. Small Prasat ប្រាសាទតូច
  11. Central Prasat ប្រាសាទកណ្តាល

Having arrived by road at the north side of Bakong, it is advisable to go around the complex in order to enter via the east gopura in the second enclosure, which has some ruins of the laterite wall. The second enclosure is a rectangle with 1312 x 1476 ft (400 x 450 m). Between the second enclosure and the first one there is a 197-ft (60 m) wide moat. The moat is crossed by two causeways on an east-west axis that are the extension of two of the four axial avenues of the capital city of Hariharalaya. Along of land about 82 ft (25 m) wide were the dwellings of the temple personnel, and the northeast corner has a modern Buddhist monastery built in the traditional Khmer style.

ដោយបានមកដល់តាមផ្លូវនៅខាងជើងប្រាសាទបាគងវាគួរតែទៅជុំវិញបរិវេណដើម្បីចូលតាមច្រកគោបុរៈខាងកើតនៅក្នុងបរិវេណទីពីរដែលមានជញ្ជាំងខ្លះជាជញ្ជាំងថ្មបាយក្រៀម។បរិវេណទីពីរគឺចតុកោណដែលមានទំហំ 1312 x 1476 ហ្វីត (400 x 450 ម៉ែត្រ) ។ ចន្លោះបរិវេណរបងទី 2 និងទី 1 មានគូរទឹកធំទូលាយប្រវែង 197 ម៉ែត្រ (60 ) ។ គូរទឹករូវបានឆ្លងកាត់ដោយផ្លូវពីរនៅលើអ័ក្សទិសខាងលិចដែលជាផ្នែកបន្ថែមនៃផ្លូវអ័ក្សពីរនៃទីប្រជុំជនក្នុងទីក្រុងហរិហារៈ ។ នៅតាមបណ្តោយដីប្រហែល 82 ហ្វីត (25 ) ធំទូលាយគឺជាលំនៅដ្ឋានរបស់បុគ្គលិកប្រាសាទនិងនៅភាគខាងជើងឆៀងខាងកើតមានវត្តអារាមទំនើបមួយដែលបានកសាងឡើងតាមបែបប្រពៃណីខ្មែរ។

The first enclosure wall bounds a rectangle 393 x 525 ft (120 x 160 m). It’s made of laterite. It’s accessible by way of four cross-shaped gopuras(which they are given number as 2) and which includes several edifices. Two rectangular structures built in laterite are perpendicular to the avenue of the east gopura. They were the model of the later continuous galleries. Both the northeast and southeast corners of the enclosure have two rather small Prasats with a square plan and thick brick walls, while the northwest and southwest corners have only one Prasat each. The best-preserved towers are those to the southwest. Some scholars believe that these edifices were cremation chambers because of the ventilation opening in the upper part.

បរិវេណរបងជញ្ជាំងទី 1 មានព្រំដែនចតុកោណមានទំហំ 393 x 525 ហ្វីត  (120 x 160 ម៉ែត្រ) ។ វាធ្វើពីថ្មបាយក្រៀម ។ វាអាចចូលបានតាមរយៈគោបុរៈដែលមានរាងបួនជ្រុង (ដែលពួកគេត្រូវបានផ្តល់លេខ 2) ហើយដែលមានអគារជាច្រើន ។ សំណង់ចតុកោណកែងពីរដែលបានសាងសង់ពីថ្មបាយក្រៀមគឺកាត់កែងទៅផ្លូវនៃគោបុរៈភាគខាងកើត ។  ពួកគេជាគំរូនៃវិចិត្រសាលបន្តនៅពេលក្រោយ ។ ទាំងទិសខាងជើងនិងខាងកើត ជ្រុងនៃបរិវេណរបង មានប្រាសាទតូចពីរដែលមានគ្រោងរាងការ៉េនិងជញ្ជាំងធ្វើពីឥដ្ឋក្រាស់ខណៈដែលជ្រុងនៃបរិវេណរបង នីមួយៗ នៃភាគពាយព្យនិងនិរតី មានតែមួយប្រាសាទប៉ុណ្ណោះ ។  ប្រាង្គដែលថែរក្សាល្អបំផុតគឺនៅប៉ែកនិរតី។ អ្នកប្រាជ្ញមួយចំនួនជឿថាអគារទាំងនេះគឺជាបន្ទប់បូជាសពដោយសារតែការបើកខ្យល់នៅផ្នែកខាងលើ។

The eight Prasats (which they are given number as 7) are dedicated to the eight murti  or ‘aspect’ of Shiva – the Sun, Moon, wind, earth, water, fire, ethereal space and the atman or soul. There are eight Prasats because the number eight refers to the eight regions of space and the deities that protect them. The structure of the prasats is normal – a stage with four access stairways, the sanctuary on a porch base, continuously retreating and littler stories that duplicate the veneer, tall pediments set more than each other, and a lotus bud delegated the sanctuary. In the interior,  the walls were covered with red plaster and the wooden ceilings concealed the intrados of the vault. Particularly noteworthy elements here are the lintels and the sandstone column frames of the freestanding doors, as well as the false doors, among which those on the northeast tower are especially interesting. There are dvarapalas and devotes in the niches, and the walls bear traces of stucco work that reveal the mastery of the Khmer craftsmen: the best preserved examples are on the  prasats on the west side.

The fourth level of the pyramid holds twelve small east-facing shrines, each of which originally contained a linga. (They are given number as 10)

ប្រាំបីប្រាសាទ (ដែលពួកគេត្រូវបានគេឱ្យលេខ 7) ត្រូវបានឧទ្ទិសដល់ប្រាំបីទិដ្ឋភាពនៃព្រះសិវៈព្រះអាទិត្យ ព្រះច័ន្ទ ខ្យល់ ដី ទឹកភ្លើង លំហនិងអាត្ម័នឬព្រលឹង។ មានប្រាំបីប្រាសាទដោយសារតែចំនួនប្រាំបីសំដៅទៅលើតំបន់ទាំង 8 នៃលំហនិងពួកទេវតាដែលការពារពួកគេ ។  រចនាសម្ព័ន្ធមានលក្ខណៈធម្មតាមាន4ជាន់ ។  នៅខាងក្នុងជញ្ជាំងត្រូវបានគ្របដោយម្នាងសិលាពណ៌ក្រហមហើយពិដានឈើបានបិទបាំងផ្នែកខាងក្នុងនៃតុដេក។ ចំណុចសំខាន់ៗដែលគួរអោយកត់សំគាល់នៅទីនេះគឺធ្នឹមនិងទ្វារក្លែងក្លាយដែលក្នុងនោះមានប៉មនៅប៉ែកឥសាន្តដែលគួរអោយចាប់អារម្មណ៍។ តាមជញ្ជាំងមានស្លាកស្នាមនៃស្នាដៃសិល្បះដែលបង្ហាញពីភាពប៉ិនប្រសប់របស់សិប្បករខ្មែរ: ឧទាហរណ៍ល្អបំផុតដែលត្រូវបានរក្សាទុកគឺនៅលើប្រាសាទនៅខាងលិច។ ជាន់ទីបួននៃសាជីជ្រុងមានទីកន្លែងសក្ការបូជាដែលនៅខាងកើត។ ទីកន្លែងតូចៗនេះមានដប់ពីរ ដែលនីមួយៗមានរូបសំណាកលិង្គមួយ។ (ពួកគេត្រូវបានគេអោយលេខ 10)

 

In the middle of the Bakong complex (which it is given number 11)  is an almost square pyramid, made of sandstone blocks. It’s 220 x 213 ft (67 x 65 m) at the base and 65 x 69 ft (20 x 18 m) at the top, articulated in five tiers for a total height of 46 ft (14 m). This artificial mountain represents Mt. Meru and its five levels, each of which is linked to a category of mythical beings: nagas, garudas, rakshasas or demons, yakshas  or tree deities, and devas, that is, the gods of the Vedic cosmogony. Furthermore, four small rectangular structures give access to the axial stairways. The northern one is the best preserved and should be carefully observed. This kind of construction is unusual in Khmer architecture. An elegant threshold in the shape of a half-circle precedes the stairs, and guardian lions protect the flights. In order to to create correct optical perception, the height and width of the stairways decrease imperceptibly as one ascends, since the Khmer architects made use of the law of proportional reduction, or false perspective, which up to that time had been applied only for the roofs of the prasats. For the same reason, that is, to correct the perspective effect, each of the pyramid tiers recedes slightly to the west.

នៅចំកណ្តាលប្រាសាទបាគង (ដែលត្រូវបានគេអោយលេខ 11) គឺជាពីរ៉ាមីតដែលមានរាងបួនជ្រុងដែលធ្វើពីថ្មភក់។ វាមានទំហំ 220 x 213 ហ្វីត (67 x 65 ម៉ែត្រ) និងមានទំហំ 65 x 69 ហ្វីត (20 x 18 ម៉ែត្រ) នៅផ្នែកខាងលើដែលត្រូវបានបញ្ចូលគ្នាក្នុងប្រាំជាន់សម្រាប់កម្ពស់សរុប 46 ហ្វីត (14 ម៉ែត្រ) ។ ភ្នំសិប្បនិម្មិតនេះតំណាងឱ្យភ្នំព្រះសុមេរុ និងជាន់ទាំង 5 របស់វានីមួយៗដែលត្រូវបានផ្សារភ្ជាប់ទៅនឹងទេវកថា: នាគ, គ្រុឌ, អារក្ស, yakshas ឬ មែកធាងនិងទេវតា, នោះគឺលោកធាតុ។ លើសពីនេះទៅទៀតរចនាសម្ព័ន្ធចតុកោណកែងតូចៗចំនួនបួនអាចឱ្យចូលទៅដល់ជណ្ដើរអ័ក្ស។ ភាគខាងជើងមួយត្រូវបានអភិរក្សល្អបំផុតហើយគួរត្រូវបានអង្កេតយ៉ាងប្រុងប្រយ័ត្ន។ សំណង់ប្រភេទនេះមិនធម្មតានៅក្នុងស្ថាបត្យកម្មខ្មែរ។ រូបរាងរង្វង់ពាក់កណ្តាលរង្វង់ស្ថិតនៅពីមុខជណ្តើរហើយសត្វតោថែរក្សាការពារជើងហោះហើរ។ ដើម្បីឃើញកម្ពស់និងទទឹងនៃជណ្តើរបានថយចុះដោយមិនដឹងពីការកើនឡើងមួយដោយសារស្ថាបត្យករខ្មែរបានប្រើប្រាស់ច្បាប់កាត់បន្ថយសមាមាត្រឬទស្សនវិស័យមិនពិតដែលរហូតដល់ពេលនោះត្រូវបានអនុវត្តតែចំពោះ ដំបូលនៃ ប្រាសាទ នេះ។ សម្រាប់ហេតុផលដូចគ្នានេះដែរនោះគឺដើម្បីកែតម្រូវទិដ្ឋភាពទស្សនវិស័យនីមួយៗនៃសាជីជ្រុងថយចុះបន្តិចទៅខាងលិច។

 

On the corners of the first three tiers of the pyramid, there are statues of elephants celebrating the mythical animals that hold up the Earth. Their presence aims at imparting magically to the construction the power and stability that distinguish them. Furthermore, the elephant is the mount of Indra, the king of the gods, and of the terrestrial sovereign. On the fourth tier are twelve sandstone tower shrines with entrances to the east surmounted by three stories, which once housed twelve lingams. The walls of the fifth and last tier were once completely covered with relief sculpture decoration, the first grandiose exploit of its kind: sadly, nothing has survived except a panel with effigies of demons on the south side.

 

នៅលើជ្រុងនៃជាន់ទី3ដំបូងនៃសាជីជ្រុង មានរូបចម្លាក់ដំរីអបអរសាទរសត្វព្រៃដែលកាន់កាប់លើផែនដី។ វត្តមានរបស់ពួកគេមានគោលបំណងផ្តល់នូវថាមពលនិងស្ថេរភាព។ ជាងនេះទៅទៀតដំរីគឺតំណាងជាភ្នំមួយនៃឥន្ទ្រ៉ាស្ដេចនៃព្រះនិងអធិរាជដីគោក។  នៅជាន់ទី 4 មានប៉មធ្វើពីថ្មភ្នំចំនួនដប់ពីរដែលមានច្រកចេញចូលទៅទិសខាងកើតដែលមានកំពស់បីជាន់ដែលធ្លាប់មានលិង្គដប់ពីរ។ ជញ្ជាំងនៃថ្នាក់ទីប្រាំនិងចុងក្រោយត្រូវបានគ្របដណ្តប់ទាំងស្រុងជាមួយការតុបតែងចម្លាក់ជំនួយការការកោតសរសើរដ៏អស្ចារ្យលើកដំបូងនៃប្រភេទរបស់ខ្លួន: គួរអោយស្តាយគ្មានអ្វីអាចរស់រានបានទេលើកលែងតែបន្ទះមួយដែលមានរូបចម្លាក់នៃអារក្សនៅខាងត្បូង។

The center prasat, reconstructed thanks to the skillful anastylosis effected by Maurice Glaize in 1940, is a 12th-century construction on a serrate plan, three blind doors and one real door, and a four-level top with an acroterion in the shape of a lotus: this housed the royal lingam Sri Indreshvara, which was consecrated in 881. The Hariharalaya complex draws inspiration from Hindu cosmological symbolism: Bakong represents Mt. Meru, the first moat is the cosmic ocean from which the mountain emerges, the next dry area is the land inhabited by humankind, which in turn is bounded by mountain ranges – the city walls – and by another ocean – the second moat.

Lion, first level, south side

 

Relief of demons, fourth level, south side

a great 7-headed Naga

 

20 thoughts on “The Amazing Reasons Tourists Love Bakong”

  1. Hello San, thanks for such an informative article on Bakong. In innocence, I have never heard of this city, though it is very interesting. Which country is it located in? I know you said it was in Roulus, but where exactly is that? I love old runs and historical remnants. I loved visiting the city of Rome, Italy. The ruins there are so beautiful to see and actually be a part of history. I suspect it would also be the same feeling if I were to visit, Bakong.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Michelle

    • The great temple is located in my country, Cambodia. Most of temples are in Siemreap city. Every years, huge of tourists (from around the world) visit Siemreap city to see all great temples. You can visit one day during your holiday.

  2. Since I’m really into traveling, I would love to travel to Bakong. I’ve never heard of Bakong before but it seems like there are many interesting things that can be explored. I find historical and ancient cities to be particularly interesting as they have so much culture to offer. I put Bakong on my bucket list now and hope that I’ll get the chance to go there some day. Thanks for sharing this article!

  3. What a great article Sam! I must say that I have never been to Bakong but while I was reading this article it would not be bad to visit this beautiful temple. Do you maybe know what is the price range for visiting Bakong? If it is not much expensive, I would like to go with my family in the summer.

    • It’s between $20 to $60 to see all temples including the Bakong temple. I am not sure about the price, but It’s affordable. The hotel fee and food fee are also not much expensive. I see many tourists enjoying their holiday in my country, by spending little. 

  4. this temple seems amazing! Beautiful and clearly filled with rich history. Thank you for the tip on the entrance and exit points, really helps with travel plans. Usually when I visit a landmark I like to research it first and make a list of things to look out for when visiting this temple, what would you suggest to be at the top of my list?

    • Thank for your consideration. There are many great beautiful temples you can see. Many hollywood film stars  used to visit there also.

  5. It is so refreshing to see a write-up on an ancient treasure of history that includes a map!  I have always been a sucker for an excellent map!  I am an avid traveler but, alas, I have yet to go farther than Costa Rica from the US.  Cambodia, Vietnam, Japan, Singapore are just a few of the many countries still on my ever growing bucket list!   

    Without insightful articles like yours I think a lot of the symbolism, intricately carved into these amazing structures, would be lost on the average tourist.  I’ve heard and read that there aren’t a lot of informational placards at some ruins so, you are doing a great service to the masses! 

    You definitely peeked my interest in visiting Cambodia all over again, thank you for that!  

    I have always has a deep love for origin stories of different religions and cultures.  I really appreciate you sharing all these site details.

    Ps.  You had me at “naga-lined earthen causeway” in your highlights section!  😉   

    • If you come to visit there, at first you will see a great 7-headed Naga greeting at the causeway. I tried to read books and take some important points to my post. I hope I can promote all temples and my country. It’s good if you can come to visit Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam because you will not spend much in these countries 

  6. Wow, such ancient history, it’s remarkable.  I did not know that there was a temple dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.  It’s incredible that it was built so long ago and the first built of sandstone.  It would be great to visit such a historical temple.  I wonder what the people were like way back in those days, it must have been so different then.

  7. Cambodia is known to be a wonderful country.

    I’ve heard about Bakong, but didn’t knew too much about it, untill I saw your post.

    I always wanted to visit it, and reading your post now, and seeing all the beautiful things it has, I’m going to book a trip!

    Thanks for sharing this amazing post and good info!

  8. Hey Sam! How are you doing buddy? This article just amazing and it has opened by eyes. Personally speaking, I love travelling and visiting monuments, palaces and temples. I would definitely love to visit this place.

    I absolutely love reading stuff like this and I really want to come back to your website for more on these wonders. Keep up the good work. Cheers!

  9. Hello and thank you for this wonderful article. I am planning on traveling to Bakong and Cambodia in March next year and that is how I bumped into your article. I am really glad you have written such an thorough and detailed post.

    I do not know if baking is a World Wonder but it case it is not, it should definitely be. To me it is one of the most mysterious places – something like pyramids. Looks so daunting and has such an impact on the worlds history. This will definitely by my first stop on my trip to Cambodia.

    I truly appreciate the information given here, i will quite used them.

    Thank you.

    Strahinja

  10. Hi San, another great site you introduce here.

    I see you write in Cambodian language, My daughter can read some letters but not all. It does look a bit like the Thai writing.

    This Bakong Site is very special. I like the pyramid. I’m sure to visit soon. Are you near there? are you organising tours?

    • No, I live in Phnom Penh city. I am not working in any tour companies. I just try to read books and promote my temples. You can visit there and many tour agents will help you with low fee

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