- Andre Guide
Phimeanakas Temple built by King Rajendravarman was used mainly as a ceremonial temple nearby to the royal palace, and all the grounds and buildings remained active from the 11th to the end of the 16th century. The temple was rebuiltby King Suryavarman II as a Hindu temple, and throughout the temple you can find many Hindu inscriptions which still remain. The laterite temple, symbolic of the Hindu style, has legendary status, literally - it was believed that the king lay every night with a naga, or serpent-headed woman. Guardian lions and elephants on the west stairs, although crumbled, are still impressive, but unfortunately the majority of all of Phimeanakas leaves any opportunity for close archaoelogical inspection somewhat bare. The beauty lies in the monument itself within its surroundings. Nearby there are several large ponds, the most notable of these being the Large Pond, wherein there are back to back carvings with bas-reliefs of various animals, regal depictions with naga princesses, guardians and guardian angels. These ponds were also used for bathing.
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