Phnom Bakheng is one of the oldest temple mountains of the Angkorian era. Competing with Angkor Wat in what concerns the sunset panorama, this edifice is said to have been the main temple of the archaeological park. Unlike most of the other temples, Phnom Bakheng was raised on a rock foundation.
The temple comprises of a central pyramid and five sandstone towers. The pyramid is made of rock, but covered in a layer of sandstone. The towers bear carvings of Hindu deities and dancers. It is said that Phnom Bakheng is a symbol of Mount Meru, which is the sacred house of Hindu gods.
Phnom Bakheng Photos
In order to get to the temple, you have to climb a hill. The best way to do that is by riding an elephant. Elephant rides are available between 4pm and sunset. A ride up the hill will cost you around $15, and down the hill $10.
Phnom Bakheng was built in the late 9th century during the reign of King Yasovarman. The temple was meant to be the core of the new capital, Yasodharapura. However, it was abandoned very shortly after, in 928. In 968, King Jayavarman V conducted a brief restoration operation to it. In 2004, Phnom Bakheng was assessed by experts and a conservation process began.