Currently, the Banteay Chhmar temple, is the main tourist attraction of the Banteay Maeanchey for foreign tourists. The Banteay Chhmar, also called the "Citadel of the Cats", and is tucked away in a remote corner of Cambodia, shielded by the Dangrek mountains in the north. Because of the isolation, archaeologists and curators are excited about this place. The Banteay Chhmar was built around the year 800. Since then, the Banteay Chhmar slowly collapsed and became the victim of ancient trees, falling leaves and modern looters.
But archaeologists also know that the collapse has many artistic elements, like a time capsule preserved. The Banteay Chhmar temple is therefore the last damaged repository of art, which was commissioned by the great Khmer king, Jayavarman VII. Jayavarman VII was also converted to Buddhism Cambodia, which is still the national religion is today.
The Banteay Chhmar temple is one of Cambodia's most important and least understood temple complex from the Angkor period. The temple complex, its moat, its baray (reservoir) and the surrounding pristine environment creates a unique archaeological site, which is an important link in the cultural heritage of Cambodia.
Banteay Chhmar is the 4th largest temple in the Angkor period and comes after the Preah Khan (in Kampong Svay), Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat, the largest temple. There are nine satellite temples, which are part of the temple complex. Then there is the Banteay Torp, another intriguing temple and interesting things about 9 km south of Banteay Chhmar..
The complex is full of sandstone with bas-reliefs that tell stories of ancient Cambodian fighting. The bas-reliefs along the surrounding wall of the temple are the finest in Cambodia. But the stories are incomplete due to ongoing looting, which were continued until the year 2002
Temple Entrance Fee is $7 per person. This includes multi-day entrance to all the satellite temples and Banteay Torp. Children under 12 are free.