Friday, May 8, 2009
Peung Komnou leading the way. Peung Komnou is one of a series of cave shelters where 11th century sculptors carved religious bas-reliefs on giant boulders, which remained undetected until found again by the French some eight hundred years later. At Komnou there are large sculpted scenes involving a reclining Vishnu, an eight-armed Ganesh in meditation and the best of all, a portrait of Shiva flanked by wives and followers. There are other cave sites nearby including Peung Preah Thvear, Peung Preah Put Kraom and Peung Preah Put Loe, though all of them involve walking a few kilometres to reach them, as there are no roads that take you in. Komnou is about four kilometres north of Svau Leu itself. The whole area of Kulen mountain itself and the region north of Beng Mealea and in the northeast lee of the mountain range houses a vast array of archaeolgical sites including caves and many temples, but which have been inaccessible until the last few years when demining efforts have made the area relatively safe again. I've scratched the surface around that area with a couple of visits though Peung Komnou is one site that I have yet to experience myself.