Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Preah Ang Thom

The face of Preah Ang Thom with coloured stones for his eyes
This massive 17-metre long reclining Buddha of Preah Ang Thom on Phnom Kulen is carved out of solid rock and believed to date from the 11th century, but most likely it was created in the 16th century, when large reclining Buddhas, such as the one at Baphuon, were fashionable. Its location, perched on top of one of a number of giant boulders and home to spectacular views over the forest canopy and surrounding countryside, is reached by concrete steps, which have replaced the more rickety stairs that I encountered on my first visit in 1999. The hand-painted giant carving, surrounded by prayer flags, with a dozen crudely chiselled faces of disciples at its base and hundreds of visitors signatures on its backside, isn't as bright as I remembered it. Though its place as one of Cambodia's revered monuments is sealed and acknowledged by framed photographs that surround it, of royal family members and politicians, who've made the pilgrimage to receive blessings by the monks and laymen who inhabit the shrine. At the foot of the stairs are other sacred shrines containing Buddha's footprint, the revered linga, a dharmachakra wheel and nearby caves, that once housed hermits.
The 17m long reclining Buddha of Preah Ang Thom
4 of the dozen crudely-hewn disciple faces at the foot of the reclining Buddha
The two feet of the reclining Buddha
The extended view over the forest canopy across the Kulen plateau
The steps leading up to Preah Ang Thom are lined on both sides by beggars, adults and children, at all times of the day

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Anonymous Paul said...

Thanks for the posts on Phnom Kulen and surrounds. Will try to visit on my next trip up there. Is a $20 admission still charged for foreigners and is it free for locals?

Also The Buddha is resting on its left side which is unusual Is there any reason given for this?

September 16, 2010 at 8:20 AM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

yes $20 is charged for foreigners, though you can get a much cheaper ticket if you buy beforehand from City Angkor Hotel in REP.
No explanation for the Buddha's decision on which side to recline :-)

September 16, 2010 at 11:59 AM  

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