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Preah Khan

Preah Khan is a huge, highly explorable monastic complex. Full of carvings, passages and photo opportunities. It originally served as a Buddhist monastery and school, engaging over 1000 monks. For a short period, it was also the residence of King Jayavarman VII during the reconstruction of his permanent home in Angkor Thom. 'Preah Khan' means 'sacred sword'. In harmony with Ta Prohm, which was dedicated to Jayavarman VII's mother, Preah Khan is dedicated to his father. Like most of Jayavarman VII's monuments, the Buddha images were vandalized in the later Hindu resurgence. Some Buddha carvings in the central corridor have been crudely carved over with Bodhisattvas, and in a couple of odd cases, a lotus flower and a linga. Also note the cylindrical columns on the building west of the main temple. It is one of the only examples of round columns and may be from a later period.

Map of Preah Khan Temple (by Maurice Glaize)

 

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