- Carlo Goldoni
Banteay Chhmar in Cambodia is one of the most important yet least understood archaeological sites in Cambodia. Albeit its historical significance this remote temple is rarely visited mainly due to its distant location near the Thai border. Unlike many other
Banteay Chhmar is located 162 kilometers away from Siem Reap center and it can be reached by car or motorbike (the duration of the journey is just over 4 hours by car). To get there take National Road 6 toward the west from Siem Reap for 102 kilometers until you arrive to Sisophon and from Sisophon take the road N56 for 55 kilometers until Banteay Chhmar.You can acces the temple from the east side and walk around the enclosure wall to see the carvings before entering the inner complex.
Banteay Chhmar was built during the reign of Jayavarman VII in the late 12th - early 13th century and it is Buddhist temple dedicated to the crown prince Indravarman and to four royal servants who gave their lives defending the prince in battle. An inscription found at the site and now exposed in the National Museum of Phnom Penh reveals the names of those servants and informs that one of the temple's shrines once held an image of the crown prince. The Global Heritage Fund, a Californian organization, has undertaken preservation works at the complex and with a budget of $6 million and 44 employees, is rehabilitating the temple with the aim of its future inclusion in Unesco's Heritage List.
"The remains of Banteay Chhmar are like a gigantic jigsaw puzzle of collapsed galleries, buildings and basins. Climbing over the stones to explore this deserted temple complex is great fun and you can spot carvings of apsaras, garudas and huge faces amongst the ruins."
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