Neak Poun

First mentioned by a Chinese traveler in the 1200s, Neak Poun, "the entwined serpents" was named in honor of all the Naga statues around it. The other information about its name was not recorded or has been lost. It's assumed to have been built by Jayavaraman VII, the greatest king of the Khmer empire.

Identified to be a healing temple, it has areas for each of the 4 elements that affect the body and spirit. Water, Earth, Fire, and Wind are represented by four connected pools, each of which is also connected to the central water source. If these were out of balance, you would be host to illness.

The Arrival

Lucky dropped me off on the north side of the Eastern baray, the second largest man-dug lake in the world (the West baray being the largest), and I had to take a very long walkway across the lake to the island that contains the temple.

Swampy after 1,000 yearsDoesn't appear too deep, but I had images of the Mordor swamps crossing it
Given everything is always flooded here, the subsidence is a bit more extreme, and the separations of the elements ponds from the central pool are kinda messed up. It's hard to get around all the way as erosion has a lot of it fenced off.
Not in a great state of conservationOne of the element ponds
One of the sacred water passages, to convert the central pond water to the element needed in the particular poolEdge walls still standing in some places
Hellava erosion

Summary

Only temple of this type I have seen in Cambodia, though there are supposed to be more of them. Very unique compared to the rest of the park; while not big, is interesting in its layout and usage. It's in a pretty bad state, but uses construction elements common during the Angkor heyday.



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