Neak Pean

Neak Pean, Angkor 2017

Neak Pean is an artificial island in the center of Northern Baray. The unique building of the Khmer ensemble emerged at the end of the 12th century under King Jayavarman VII. It is now one of the most important monuments in Angkor.

The site covers a square of 350 meters in the middle of the lake. This Baray had been raised for Preah Khan. Previously, 13 ponds belonged to the complex and five were restored. In the middle of the square central pond lies a round island with a diameter of 33 meters. The laterite base consists of two intertwined Nagas. Next to the temple, rises the Bahaha horse, a manifestation of Lokeshvara.

Neak Pean was a much-visited pilgrimage site and is described in detail in the stele of Preah Khan. It is clear from the text that pictures of 14 gods and no less than a thousand lingams were once erected here. As a result, the place conflicted with its Buddhist character but at the same time demonstrates the tolerance and diversity of the beliefs of the Khmer.


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