PHNOM BAKHENG HISTORY
ប្រាសាទនេះត្រូវបានសាងសង់ឡើងនៅឆ្នាំ 907 នៅក្រោមព្រះបាទយសោវរ្ម័នទី 1 (គ្រប់គ្រង 889-915) នៅពេលគាត់បានផ្លាស់ប្តូររាជធានីទៅកាន់អង្គរពី ហរិហរៈ (រូលូស) ក្នុងឆ្នាំ 889 ។
Angkor was the first city during that time. It was called Yasodharapura. It was an enormous city. It was likely larger than Angkor Thom, but now very little remains.
The temple is dedicated to the god Shiva, Hindu
LOCATION OF PHNOM BAKHENG TEMPLE
The temple is located on a natural hill on the west side of the principal road running between Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.
LENGTH OF VISIT
រយៈពេលទស្សនកិច្ចប្រាសាទប្រហែល 30 ទៅ 60 នាទី
It is estimated between 30 – 60 minutes.
ម៉ោងបើកនៅភ្នំបាខែងគឺនៅចន្លោះម៉ោង 5 ព្រឹកដល់ម៉ោង 5 និង 30 នាទីល្ងាច
Phnom Bakheng opening hours is between 5am – 5:30pm.
Phnom Bakheng has extended hours to accommodate sunrise visits.
If you go to Google and search a phrase “phnom bakheng sunrise”, Google will show you the following informative result.
By the way, if you search for “phnom bakheng sunset”, Google will show the following
Phnom Bakheng is so famous. The crowd level rating is HIGH (at sunrise and sunset). Google will help you to find real time of sunset and sunrise. The busiest hours is between 4 PM till 6 PM. If you can not reach the temple before 4 PM, you will hard to have a seat to watch the sunset.
SUGGESTED STARTING POINT:
the starting point is east side
SUGGESTED ENDING POINT:
the ending point is also east side, because visitors are dropped off along the primary road on the temple’s east side.
- Phnom Bakheng is the most popular spot in Angkor to watch the sunset and sunrise. The daily event brings large numbers of visitors to the temple-mountain’s summit.
ទិដ្ឋភាពព្រះអាទិត្យរះល្អ ៗ ពីតំបន់ជុំវិញដែលគួរកត់សំគាល់បំផុត: ភាគអាគ្នេយ៍ប្រាសាទអង្គរវត្តនិងភាគពាយ័ព្យទៅបារាយណ៍ខាងលិច
- Excellent sunset views of surrounding areas, most notably: southeast to Angkor Wat and northwest to the West Baray.
ភ្នំបាខែងជាប្រាសាទភ្នំដំបូងគេនៃ (សម័យអង្គរ) ដែលជារាជធានីនៃអាណាចក្រខ្មែរអស់រយៈពេល 500 ឆ្នាំមកហើយ។
- Phnom Bakheng stands as the first temple-mountain of Yasodharapura (modern-day Angkor), the capital of the Khmer empire for 500 years.
- First use of the trademark Khmer quincunx five-tower arrangement in Angkor.
ភ្នំបាខែងដែលមានកំពស់ជាង 230 ហ្វីតត្រូវបានកសាងឡើងនៅលើភ្នំដែលមានឈ្មោះដូចគ្នា។ អត្ថន័យគឺទីក្រុងនៃសិរីរុងរឿងដែលជារាជធានីថ្មីរបស់ព្រះបាទយសោវរ្ម័នទី 1
- Phnom Bakheng, a height of more than 230 feet (70 meters), was built on a mountain with the same name known as the center of Yasodharapura. The meaning is The City Of Glory, which was the new capital of Yashovarman I.
វាគឺជាទីក្រុងធំបំផុតមួយនៅលើពិភពលោកនៅពេលនោះ។ វាត្រូវបានហ៊ុំព័ទ្ធដោយជញ្ជាំងព័ទ្ធជុំវិញ 2.5 ម៉ាយ (4 គីឡូម៉ែត្រ) នៅម្ខាងនិងដោយរូងដែលមានទំហំ 656 ហ្វីត (200 ម) ទទឹង
- It was one of the largest cities in the world at the time. It was surrounded by an enclosure wall 2.5 miles (4 km) per side and by moats that are 656 ft (200 m) wide
ដើម្បីផ្គត់ផ្គងរាជធានីថ្មីរបស់គាត់ជាមួយទឹកព្រះមហាក្សត្របានបញ្ជាឱ្យជីកបារាយណ៍ដែលគេស្គាល់ថាបារាយណ៍ខាងកើត។ វាមានទទឹងជាង 22965 ft (7000 m) និងទទឹង 5905 ft (1800 m) ។
- To supply his new capital with water, the king ordered the excavation of the Yashodharatataka known as the East Baray. It is more than 22965 ft (7000 m) long and 5905 ft (1800 m) wide.
- the temple is accessible both via the original steep stairway flanked by roaring lions and by the so-called Elephant path beginning on the left.
- there are sixty small sandstone shrines adorn the six levels
- Unlike Angkor’s other temple-mountains, this is not a built pyramid, but rather employs the natural hill as support. The terraces of the six levels were cut directly into the rock of the hill and then faced with sandstone to give the appearance of built architecture.
You can ride an elephant to the temple-mountain. I am not sure about the fee, because the fee can be different from national tourists to international tourists.
Most of Phnom Bakheng’s decoration has been lost, but the principal sanctuary holds well-rendered apsara guardians. they share a number of basic features with those made 20-30 years earlier in Roluos, at the temples of Lolei, Preah Ko and Bakong— eg, they hold fly whisks and lotus flowers and wear similar sampots — the apsaras reveal some distinctive features; see the comparison in above picture.
- Apsaras at Phnom Bakheng tilt their heads slightly to the side, rather than look straight ahead, as at Lolei.
- The multi-lobed-arch niches at Phnom Bakheng more tightly frame the apsaras’ bodies.
- The depth of relief at Phnom Bakheng is lower than at Lolei.
Visitors can ascend long stairways to the principle platform that supports the temple-mountain. It’s about 393 x 607 ft (120 x 185 m) with remains of pillars. You will pass by a brick stupa and a small pavilion with Budhha’s footprint. You will come to the first laterite wall and another one that has the ruins of an entrance pavilion. There are two sandstone libraries. On the other side of the libraries, there is a temple pyramid. The temple pyramid has five tiers. They were cut out of the rock in the hills. They were faced with sandstone, and they have four axial stairways with ramps flanked by tall buttresses dominated by sculptures of guardian lions. The temple pyramid has 44 brick towers with the entrance to the east and three blind doors, except the towers on the east side which open out both eastward and the eight towers that flank the four stairways which have one or two real doors. The best-preserved tower is on the west side.
When you approach the east stairway, at the left side you will see a nice statue pedestal near a foundation stone with holes. It is a Nandi bull. There are Nandi bull statues in front of the west and north stairways, but there is one polychrome Nandi status was recently restored. It is at the base of the south stairway.
The pyramid is 249 ft(76 m) per side at the base and 154 ft (47 m) at the top, and it is 43 ft (13 m) high. Its terrace has twelve sandstone shrines. Four sandstone shrines are at the corners , and other two are beside each stairway, with a single entrance facing east. These structures have four stories, and they are topped by a lotus bud.
On the top terrace, there is a platform which is 101 ft (31 m) per side and more than 5 ft (1.5 m) high. The platform has five prasats (the quincunx five-tower arrangement), four on the corners and one in the middle. However, only the central tower over the sanctuary remains. All of them had four real doors. The central prasat (red rectangle highlight) is larger and stucco decoration. From the top to the southwest you have a fine view of the Angkor Wat reservoir and temple.
The central prasat is the sum of all the others and having the lingam in its cella, it refers to the bindu, the point-instant that gives rise to space and time, hence the universe. The central prasat, the supreme peak of Mt. Meru, is the beginning and end of the construction, as well as the symbol of the governing power that descends to the Earth, radiating from the cella, and of its guardian – the king – who upon his death is deified and ascends to the heavens.
Bakheng is one of the most powerful representations of Mt. Meru and seems to encompass further magical-esoteric meaning. The total number of the Prasats at Bakheng, which symbolically rotate around the central one, is 108 (44 at the base, 60 on the terraces, and four on the summit). This number alludes to the totality of the universe, and it is also the result of the multiplication of the number 27, the days of the sidereal month, by four, which stands for the four phases of the moon (new moon, waxing moon, warning moon, full moon). Furthermore, there are 108 principal names of Shiva and the same number of grains of the mala, the Indian crown-rosary.
An analysis of the distribution of the other prasats shows that each of the five terraces of the pyramid has 12 small towers, for a total of 60. In Indian tradition there are 12 sign of the zodiac and there are 12 animals in the Chinese astrological cycle, from which the Khmer drew inspiration. Moreover, it takes the planet Jupiter about 12 years to revolve around the Sun and pass through the entire zodiac, which the Sun traverses in a year. The cycle of Jupiter lasted 60 solar years, divided into five cycles of 12 years each, and this was also part of Khmer culture.
Therefore, with its five terraces and their 60 prasats, Bakheng reproduces an entire Jovian years by utilizing the numbers 12 and 60.
Furthermore, the seven levels of Bakheng, that is, the base, the five terraces and the platform of the quincunx, refer both to the levels of Mt. Meru and to the saptaloka, the ‘seven heavens’ of the Hindu deities. Again, it seems that the particular placement of the towers and their different sizes are such that the viewer standing in the middle of each side, that is, in correspondence with the cardinal points, should see always and only 33 prasats; and in fact there are 33 principal Hindu divinities Mt. Meru hosts the court of the gods, and its reproduction in the middle of human cities reasserts the king’s desire to have his capital mirror divinity. The various inscriptions underscore this by comparing Yashovarman to Mt. Meru, to Indra the king of the gods, and to Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva, the divinities of the Trimurti. Phnom Bakheng is a must visit temple for everyone.
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