Baphuon temple

Name: Baphuon
Creator: Udayadityavarman II
Date built: the mid-11th century
Primary deity: Shiva
Architecture: Khmer
Location: Angkor Thom, Cambodia

The Baphuon is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia. Built in the mid-11th century, it is a three-tiered temple mountain built as the state temple of Udayadityavarman II dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.

The temple adjoins the southern enclosure of the royal palace and measures 120 metres east-west by 100 metres north-south at its base and stands 34 meters tall without its tower, which would have made it roughly 50 meters tall.

Its appearance apparently impressed Emperor Chengzong of Yuan China's late 13th century envoy Chou Ta-Kuan during his visit from 1296 to 1297, who said it was 'the Tower of Bronze...a truly astonishing spectacle, with more than ten chambers at its base.'

In the late 15th century, the Baphuon was converted to a Buddhist temple.

A 9 meter tall by 70 meter long statue of a reclining Buddha was built on the west side's second level, which probably required the demolition of the 8 meter tower above explaining its current absence.

The temple was built on land filled with sand, and due to its immense size the site was unstable throughout its history.

By the 20th century, much of the temple had largely collapsed, and restoration efforts have since proven problematic: a first effort begun in 1960 was interrupted by the coming to power of the Khmer Rouge, and records of the positions of the stones were lost.

Phimeanakas, Prasat Phimean Akas, 'celestial temple') or Vimeanakas, Prasat Vimean Akas) atAngkor, Cambodia, is a Hindu temple in the Khleang style, built at the end of the 10th century, during the reign of Rajendravarman (from 941-968), then rebuilt by Suryavarman II in the shape of a three tier pyramid as a Hindu temple.

According to legend, the king spent the first watch of every night with a Naga girl in the tower, during that time, not even the queen was permitted to intrude.

Only in the second watch the king returned to his palace with the queen.

If the naga who was the supreme land owner of Khmer land did not show up for a night, the king's day's would be numbered, if the king did not show up, calamity would strike his land.


Udayadityavarman II

Udayadityavarman II ruled the Angkor Kingdom from 1050 - 1066 A.D. He was the successor of Suryavarman I but not his son; he descended from Yasovarman I's spouse.

During his reign, several attempted rebellions were crushed by his general Sangrama.

The Sdok Kak Thom temple, located near the present day Thai town of Aranyaprathet, was also constructed during his reign.

The temple is perhaps most famous as the discovery site of a detailed inscription recounting the sequence of previous Khmer kings.

The inscription stele is now part of the collection of the national museum in Bangkok.


Baphuon temple Siem Reap, Cambodia Map


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This webpage was updated Apr 21, 2015


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