Baksei Chamkrong
means ‘The Bird Who Shelters Under its Wings’

Location: 13° 25′ 31.12″ N, 103° 51′ 29.27″ E

Baksei Chamkrong is a small Hindu temple located in Cambodia, which 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.

The name Baksei Chamkrong means 'The Bird Who Shelters Under Its Wings' and comes from a legend.

The temple is one of the first temples constructed of durable material such as bricks and laterite and with decoration in sandstone.

Much of the stucco on the surface of the temple has vanished.

Garlands emanate from either side of Indra in the style current to the monument.

There is an inscription on either side of the small doorway.

Tip: 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).

According to legend, the king fled during an attack on Angkor and was saved from being caught by the enemy when a large bird swooped down and spread its wings to shelter the king.

The name of the temple derives from this legend.

Baksei Chamkrong was the first temple-mountain at Angkor built entirely of durable materials brick, laterite and sandstone.

Inscriptions on the columns of the door and the arches give the date of the temple and mention a golden image of Siva.

Baksei Chamkrong is a simple plan with a single tower on top of a square tiered base with four levels of diminishing size (27 meters, 89 feet, a side at the base) built of laterite (1-4).

The height from the ground to the top of the Central Sanctuary is 13 meters (43 feet).

Three levels of the base are undecorated but the top one has horizontal molding around it and serves as a base for the Central sanctuary.

A steep staircase on each side of the base leads to the top.

Although it has almost all disappeared vestiges are visible on the east side of the temple.

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.

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.

A three-headed elephant on the east lintel is finely carved.


Baksei Chamkrong, Siem Reap, Cambodia Map


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This webpage was updated Apr 21, 2015


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