Sambor Prei Kuk, Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura

Date: Built in early 7th centurysambor-prei-kuk
Religion: Hinduism
King: Isanvarman I (AD 615-635)

Private tour can start any time of the day base on your tour program

Tour program: Start at 8:30 am from Siem reap about 2hours and Over night at siem reap Hotel.
Cambodia’s most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments, Sambor Prei Kuk, “the temple in the richness of the forest” in the Khmer language, has been identified as Ishanapura, the capital of the Chenla Empire that flourished in the late 6th and early 7th centuries AD. The property comprises more than a hundred temples, ten of which are octagonal, unique specimens of their genre in South-East Asia. Decorated sandstone elements in the site are characteristic of the pre-Angkor decorative idiom, known as the Sambor Prei Kuk Style. Some of these elements, including lintels, pediments and colonnades, are true masterpieces. The art and architecture developed here became models for other parts of the region and lay the ground for the unique Khmer style of the Angkor period. It was an important learning centre during the Angkorian era. In the early 1970s, Sambor Prei Kuk was bombed by US aircraft in support of the Lon Nol government’s doomed fight against the Khmer Rouge. Some of the craters, ominously close to the temples, can still be seen. The area’s last land mines were cleared in 2008. An easy 40-minute drive from Kompong Thom, the area has a serene and soothing atmosphere, with the sandy trails between temples looping through shady forest and less than 2hours from Siem Reap

Sambor Prei kuk temple

Sambor Prei kuk temple

The Central Temple
The central temple is called Tor or the Lion Temple which was built in the 9th century. It has sealed door on each side except the north side which hsa a real door. On each side, there is a staircase with two statues of kneeling lions guarding on both sides. There are a number of temples to the west of Lion Temple.
The Northern Temple
The northern temples are called Mid-Sambo Temples. It is a complex of many small temples.

The temples of Sambor Prei Kuk are some of the oldest and best preserved pre-Angkorian temples in Cambodia. Originally known as Isanapura, construction started during the seventh century AD, but the site remained an important centre of learning during the Angkorian period. Although most of the buildings are constructed from brick, some sandstone has been used on some of the structures. Although the temples are less awe-inspiring than those at Angkor Wat, they do provide an interesting historical context to the development of the Angkor civilisation and we were glad we visited them. Except for a small group of French tourists, we saw no other visitors.

The Southern Temples
The southern temples are called Yeay Poan Temples. It is a complex of many temples. There are two ramparts, which the inner one has four entrances on each side. This site was a former Capital.

Kraol Romeas Temples
Krao Romeas Temples locates about 2km north of Sambo Preykuk. All were built with brick, except the western temple which was built with laterite.

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