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Neak Pean

Constructed: Late 12th century C.E.
King: Jayavarman VII
Religion: Buddhism
Style: Bayon
Other temples of the same style and period: Bayon, Preah Khan, Ta Som, Banteay Kdei, Ta Prohm

When constructed, this small island temple was located in the middle of the last reservoir (baray) to be constructed by a Khmer king in the Angkor area. The small central temple sits in the center of a cross or lotus pattern made up of eight pools.
At time of construction, the temple was called Rajasri but took its modern appellation, Neak Pean, which means 'coiled serpents', from the encoiled nagas that encircled the temple. The temple is faced by a statue of the horse, Balaha, saving drawing sailors.



Neak Pean may have served an absolution function, and the waters were thought to have healing properties.
During the dry season when the water is low, check out the animal and human headwater spouts at the outside center of each pool. Neak Pean is most photogenic in the wet season, when the pools are full.


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