“Better to see something once than to hear about it a thousand times.” – Asian Proverb
The magnificent ancient temples of Cambodia leaves you in wonder and amazement of rich Khmer Empire. Cambodia is more than visiting Angkor Wat or watching the sunrise. The complex contains more than 1000 temples and we managed to cover a few temples other than the famous three. If you are planning the itineary and are confused which one to pick read the below list of lesser know nonetheless beautiful temples.
- Prasant Kravan
One of the smaller temples in Angkor Wat complex,Prasant Kravan was built-in 10th century .This reddish temple is simple yet beautiful and the afternoon hours brings out the color which makes the whole view prettier 🙂 .The brickwork and carvings from that era makes me feel – Are we really advanced now?
- Phnom Bakheng
A small hike takes you up the mountain temple,Phnom Bakheng provides ariel view of sunset over Angkor Wat. Despite being not able to see the sunset the views of Angkor Wat and the beautiful ruins left us mesmerized.
Baphuon is a three-tiered temple dedicated to Lord Shiva and is located in Angkor Thom. Most folks who visit Bayon return without seeing other temples within Angkor Thom. and so this temple has only handful tourists. Baphuon has the most grandeur entrances I have ever seen and the views is worth the steep climb up the top floors. When you leave,look back and you might be able to make out the rough shape of a reclining Buddha.The reclining Buddha was never finished but it’s still impressive.The temple has had lot of restoration but this does not distract its beauty at all.
- Kbal Spean
Kbal Spean is archaeological site and is my favorite one among all the temples I saw. The place is filled with greenery with 1000 Lingas and carvings in the river bed is amazing.It is a little far from main temple complex but the beautiful hike in the woods, discovering mini waterfalls and carvings on rocks which has lasted for about 1000 years makes this place a to do on the list.
- Nean Poan
Nean Poan is a tiny temple which is surrounded by artificial man-made pond. This is one place where I loved the surroundings more than temple and I forgot to click the temple (Oops!). The central pond is a replica of Lake Anavatapta in the Himalayas and this place is believed to have healing powers.
- Banteay Srei
The pink sandstone temple dedicated to Lord Shiva is a bit far from the main complex and is worth a visit. The carvings are intricate and beautiful not to mention the pinkness adds to the beauty on the whole.This temple gets really busy and loads of tourists start to arrive after 09:00 AM.I would recommend coming early morning or late afternoon to avoid the crowds.We arrived early morning and there was almost nobody else.
- Banteay Kdei
Banteay Kdei meaning “Citadel of Chambers” has a serene and a quiet vibe to it. The towers and chambers are huge and lovely. The temple has a lot of restoration work in progress and I felt grateful to visit this place since it seems like the temple is in its last days.
- Ta Som
Ta Som is lesser known simple temple from 12th century and has miniature of Ta Phrom roots and is less crowded.
Lastly, Cambodia is not just the breathtaking Angkor Wat but there are many more beautiful hidden gems. Make sure you explore the lesser known beautiful temples.
- Do you want to avoid crowd at Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Phrom?Read my hacks on avoiding the crowd at these famous site – Touring Hacks: Angkor Wat