Friday, October 10, 2008

Even more from the summit

A ruined brick prasat with colonette next to the main vihara at Wat Han Chey
In closing my visit to the summit of Phnom Han Chey, just north of Kompong Cham city, here are a few more examples of the wealth of items to look for on a visit there. As well as a gorgeous girl selling sugar-palm juice who refused to let me take her picture, there are two other small, ruined prasats, one of brick with a nicely-ornamented colonette lying on top, and another made of basalt rock, with a sandstone yoni and pedestal amongst its ruins. A small insciption stele with ten lines of Sanskrit lies a few feet from the large brick tower of Prasat Han Chey, and around the main vihara are eight decorated sandstone seima stones that look pretty old too. Finally, on two different areas of the summit are two Neak Ta statues, of the same person. I haven't posted any Neak Ta for a while, so its good to be back on the Neak Ta trail again. This figure is the same one you see when you enter Battambang and which dominates your entry into the city from the direction of Phnom Penh. I'm told its also one which can be found at courtrooms all over the country and to whom witnesses and accused pay respect and swear to tell the truth. His name is Neak Ta Dambong Dek or 'iron rod old man spirit.' With his fiercesome face, he gained my immediate respect.
A basalt-built ruined prasat overlooking the Mekong River at Phnom Han Chey
A solitary inscription stele near to Prasat Han Chey
One of the seima stones surrounding the main vihara at Wat Han Chey
Neak Ta Dambong Dek near a part of the hill being converted into a Buddhist monastery
A popular Neak Ta Dambong Dek closer to the main vihara at Wat Han Chey

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