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Phimeanakas – Temple


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Phimeanakas temple - within the Royal Enclosure

Phimeanakas temple - within the Royal Enclosure

As part of the Royal enclosure Phimeanakas was built as a Hindu temple surrounded by a 5 Meters high wall. Relatively small compared to its huge pyramid neighbour slightly to the south – Baphuon, the temple is in the shape of a three-tier pyramid with very steep sides. Originally there was a tower at the top, which according to ancient Chinese traveller accounts was covered in gold, however not much of the tower now remains.

Phimeanakas, which means celestial temple was built during the reign of king Rajendravarman at the end of the 10th century and served mainly a ceremonial function. According to legend – the King would go every night to the top alone where he would meet a Naga girl (a mythical Hindu serpent deity), if the king failed to show up, certain disaster would strike his empire.