Preah Khan

Preah Khan was built on the site of a great victory over the Chams who occupied what is now Vietnam since back around the 1150s. They marched 300 miles across untamed land to just get utterly stomped by Jayavarman VII (this guy was their greatest King). It contained such riches and an immense amount of statues and glory to the Hindu gods and himself, that it must have been a damn close battle.

The victory was in 1191, and the temple/university/city was created with immense wealth and care to take into account 430 deities, that were given food, clothing, perfumes, and even mosquito nets to protect the statues. It was quite a large establishment that was serviced by 97,480 individuals. I know, right? That's freaking insane!

When it was rediscovered in 1927, it was extremely overrun. There was a conscious decision made to not rebuild it much, as they couldn't ensure they were doing it correctly, so cutting back and stabilization was basically the only thing done.

This is what I call a Galleries Temple, with many long galleries running through it with courtyards and such.

The Arrival

Lucky, knowing how things operate here, and aware of my discomfort with all the hawkers and buskers, dropped me off at the north entrance (the west entrance is the primary spot for arrivals and heavily manned...), which allowed me to circumvent the hard sales pitch - at least the vast majority. There are silk and flower necklace sellers there too and quite persistent.

I walked along the path to the outer wall, which is much closer to the temple than a lot of other sites.
The outer wall encloses the complex, but a lot of it has tumbled to the ground.
Great roadway constructionThe entry portal
The jungle is the ultimate enemy encroachingStanding portions on the south
Long passageways cut through the temple completely and connect buildings. They used to be totally covered but time has created open roofs.
Ouch!These go on what seems like forever
I meandered out into the courtyards and outside areas while going through the complex.
Probably where professors taught their students, I'm guessing without corduroy sportscoatsSeriously, it is like the suburbs how close these are to each otherA portion of the battle
I don't know exactly what this is but it sure looks awesomeYou can see here how they built archwaysThe holy center of the complex, another Hindu Mountain representation
Temple, Library, Storeroom?  Still standing though, without a contractor or Home Depot!Lion Deity or King?  Tons of imagery here
Found one of the temple worship sites at the dead center, and then meandered to the west entrance where there are shops and restaurants.
The west side.  Where most enter from.Some work neededAll the best properties have moats

Summary

This is on the general tour list because of its size and different type of temple that it is. The long galleries and unkempt state (on purpose it was not restored) lend a great escape into another place and time. Lots of statuary and inscriptions abound. Made for just wandering around in.
RwarVery powerful beingsThis is everywhere


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