Beng Mealea Highlights

To visit Beng Mealea is not like visiting other

  • Angkor temples, you'll need an adventurous spirit! There is plenty to find for those who look hardest, but you must give yourself time to seek out the gems within Beng Mealea, as it is a very large temple in one of the most ruinous states, never having been restored. At times you will need to hop, step and jump to get a closer inspection of this carving of a demon staring right at you, or climb over rocks and rooftops nearly 1000 years old to reach the summit of a collapsed tower.

    There are no inscriptions which can confirm a date of construction, however it was built as a Hindu temple and does seem to be strategically positioned given its location near Preah Khan and the Great Lake. The temple's obscurity, 77km from Siem Reap, along with the piles of rubble which haven't survived the test of time, and its obvious losing battle to be entirely devoured by the jungle vegetation, make the setting very pleasing to the eye, somehow romantic.

     

  • Cambodian jungle surrounds Beng Mealea Temple

    Cambodian jungle surrounds Beng Mealea Temple

    Once you start to explore, there are many interesting sights to keep an eye out for. There are suggestions for the best route, but it is highly likely that even the most organised explorer will find a reason to wander. Whichever way you choose, be sure to see the cruciform cloisters which are almost identical to those of Angkor Wat, and the nearby impressive vaulting. In the south eastern corner pavilion, there are some wonderful carvings in the style of Khmer traditional art, and some devatas one of whom is, quite unusually given traditional Khmer values, cupping her breast. Some beautiful detailed five-headed nagas which adorn the balustrades around the cruciform terrace are particularly elegant. Be sure to examine the fallen lintels in the galleries, and clamber through the nearby dark passages of the vaults. There are many blind doors with lintels and pediments around the outer enclosure which are typical of the style of Angkor Wat, and on one of these you'll find Agni, the god of fire, riding a rhinoceros.

     



    Cambodia travel information and Angkor Wat tour specialists ABOUTAsia are based in Siem Reap just 4km from Angkor Wat. At the heart of the organisation is a guiding research centre providing Cambodia vacation advice and industry leading tours planning.

     

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    Beng Mealea Highlights - Angkor temples guides by ABOUTAsia.