- Freya Stark
Preah Palilay is located about 11 kilometers from Siem Reap, just 400 meters northwast of Phimeanakas temple in the area behind the Terrace of the Leper King. To reach the temple you must walk through forest into a peaceful jungle setting which offers a serene atmosphere.You can enter and leave the temple from the east. Before you come across the temple you will reach a cruciform shaped terrace that is 8.5meters by 30 meters long. Beautiful seven-headed naga balustrades that are a typical example of Khmer art surround the terrace. A 33 meter long causeway links the terrace with the eastern Gopura. Just before you reach the laterite wall in which the Gopura stands you will see a 3 meter tall sitting Buddha statue. It is a later addition to the temple and it is believed to be fairly recent. The Gopura has three entrances and on the northern one you can find excellent pediments which display scenes from Buddha's life, and the 'offering of forest animals', the aforementioned forest being Parilyyaka, which later became Palilay.
Once you cross the Gopura you will arrive to the central sanctuary, which is the only structure that remains intact. It is built on a three tiered basement and it opens to the four cardinal points. The tower that stands on top is possibly a later addition to the sanctuary.
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