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Phnom Bakheng

Constructed: Late 9th - Early 10th century C.E.
King: Yasovarman I
Religion: Hindu
Style: Bakheng

The construction of this temple mountain on Phnom Bakheng (Bakheng Hill), the first major temple to be constructed in the Angkor area, marked the move of the capital of the Khmer empire from Roluos to Angkor in the late 9th century AD. It served as Yasovarman I's state-temple at the center of his new capital city Yasodharapura. The foundation of Bakheng is carved from the existing rock edifice rather than the laterite and earth-fill of most other temples.
Bakheng's hilltop location makes it the most popular sunset location in the area, offering a view of the Tonle Sap Lake and a distant Angkor Wat in the jungle.
Unfortunately, Phnom Bakheng is often completely overcrowded at sunset. That's why we recommend Pre Rup or Ta Keo Temple, which also offer fantastic roundviews, but are much less touristed at sunset.
Visit Phnom Bakheng in the morning, when the temple is nearly free of tourists, or in the early afternoon, best one hour before the "sunset crowds" arrive.

Map of Phnom Bakheng (by Maurice Glaize)

 

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