Prasat Preah Vihear is one of Cambodia’s most famous temples.
Set on top of a 525 meter high cliff on the Dangrek Mountains in between Cambodia’s Preah Vihear Province and Thailand’s North Eastern Si Sa Ket Province the temple has been the site of centuries of occupation and conflict.
Building started in the 9th century but most of what still stands today was built in the 11th and 12th centuries by the Khmer Kings Suryavarman I and Suryavarman II. It actually predates Angkor Wat (Cambodia’s other world famous temple complex) by around 100 years. The site was dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva through the mountain gods of Sikharesvara and Bhadresvara and the complex is a representation of Mount Meru, the home of the gods.
Detailed inscriptions at the temple show accounts of King Suryavarman II including activities such as religious rituals and festivals.In recent years the temple has been a popular tourist attraction with a steady stream of visitors arriving from the easily accessible Thai side.
Due to the temple’s location on the edge of a cliff the Cambodian entrance is somewhat more difficult to pass, although significant infrastructure development is expected in the next few years.
Source and photos : Sacred Destinations