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Baksei Chamkrong

"It was so hot in the morning! We were drenched. They call this their wet season, but we experienced the heat and no rain. They take time off (mostly) throughout the middle of the day because of the heat. We got to experience sunset on Baksei Chamkrong. It was awesome!"

 

Baksei Chamkrong is a small Hindu temple located in the Angkor complex (Siem Reap, Cambodia). It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and used to hold a golden image of him.
The temple can be seen on the left side when entering Angkor Thom at the southern gate. It was dedicated to Yasovarman by his son, King Harshavarman I. The temple was completed by Rajendravarman II (944-968).

The name Baksei Chamkrong means "The Bird Who Shelters Under Its Wings" and comes from a legend. In it, the king tried to flee Angkor during a siege and then a huge bird landed and sheltered him under its wings.


Baksei Chamkrong was the first temple-mountain at Angkor built entirely of durable materials brick, laterite and sandstone. Even though it is small the balanced proportions and scale of this monument are noteworthy. Inscriptions on the columns of the door and the arches give the date of the temple and mention a golden image of Siva.

The stairs to the Central Sanctuary are in poor condition but the architecture and decoration of this temple can be viewed by walking around it (in a clockwise direction). Those who persist in climbing to the Central Sanctuary should use the north stairway.
It was dedicated to Siva and may have been a funerary temple for the parents of the king with following transitional between Bakheng and Koh Ker.

The square central tower is built of brick and stands on a sandstone base. It has one door opening to the east with three false doors on the other sides. As is typical of tenth-century Khmer architecture, the columns and lintels are made of sandstone. A vertical panel in the center of each false door contains motifs of foliage on stems. The interior of the tower has a sunken floor and a vault with a corbel arch.