Neak Pean is a small Buddhist temple of Khmerian era, built on an artificial island. Its name is derived from the ornamental carvings of snakes. The construction, built on a lotus pattern, is surrounded by four pools – said to have healing properties – and comprises of the central temple and four chapels. The temple is located in the center of the four pools; a statue of Balaha, the horse-king, is guarding it. Although it was dedicated to Buddha, Neak Pean displays several Hindu images as well. The temple offers a great photo setting during the rainy season.
Neak Pean Photos
- The North Chapel – symbolizes Water and it is represented by an elephant head
- The South Chapel – symbolizes Fire and it is represented by a lion head
- The East Chapel – symbolizes Earth and it is represented by a human head
- The West Chapel – symbolizes Wind and it is represented by a horse head
Neak Pean was built in the late 12th century during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. The original purpose of this temple was to be a hospital; this is why the four pools are thought to have been blessed with curative powers.