Banteay Samre Temple- An “Off The Beaten Track” Temple, Cambodia

Banteay Samre Temple- An “Off The Beaten Track” Temple, Cambodia

Banteay Samre temple is one of the sacred temples in Angkor temple complex which is the most famous tourist destination in Cambodia tour packages. If you decide to visit this temple, here is the necessary information you should know in your trip.

Where is Banteay Samre temple located

Banteay Samre temple is a large and important temple in the Angkor Wat temple complex in the aspects of both architecture and artistry. The temple underwent the big process of restoration this century by archaeologists, they successfully applied the anastylosis method to restore the original case of the temple. Banteay Samre was constructed in the same time with Angkor Wat, so it is easy to realize that the style of the architecture of two attractions looks strongly similar to each other and even so it is similar to the Khmer temple of Phimai in Thailand. Many of the carving masterpieces in this temple are still in excellent condition.

Banteay Samre Temple is near the southeast corner of the East Baray, 14 km from the east of Siem ReapCambodia in the Angkor Archaeological park. In order to visit this temple, you have to go through 3 km road excursion through villages and paddies. During the trip to Banteay Samre, you can linger in Banteay Srei on the way back.

Banteay Samre temple

Banteay Samre temple

History of Banteay Samre temple

Banteay Samre keeps itself a long and mysterious history that is very hard for tourists to understand clearly and the stories around this temple are unclear. The meaning of the temple name is "Citadel of the Samre", whereas Samre is an ancient tribe which used to exist in the land of Cambodia nowadays and it is not a distinct reference to its date of construction. Surprisingly, there is no inscription found in this temple, however, historians believe that it would have been built around the same time as Angkor Wat thanks to the similarity of the architecture of the classic art of the same period.

A part of Banteay Samre temple

A part of Banteay Samre temple

How to get to Banteay Samre temple

From Prasat Bakong, Cambodia, you can easily catch a private car to get to Banteay Samre. It takes 40 minutes on the national road 67. The road to this temple is very tranquil and beautiful, it is such a good time for you to look out the car's window to view the golden rice paddies, lush forest, and the small peaceful villages.

The temple starts to welcome tourists from 5 a.m to 5.30 p.m. But it is better to visit this temple in the early morning because the atmosphere that time is so cool and you will have time to see the spectacular view when the temple is covering in a slight mist.

What to explore in Banteay Samre temple

The Banteay Samre temple is located about 500 meters from the east of the East Baray, this place was used to dedicate to the Hindu God Vishnu but you can see in the temple, it contains both Hindu and Buddhist depictions. The images of the Buddha were destroyed from the 13th century during the reigning time of Jayavarman VIII, the king who worshipped Shiva. From the eastern entrance, you can see a 200 meter long paved laterite walkway with a balustrade with mythological nagas which leads to the temple. On either side of the walkway is a pool. Standing in the eastern gate is a terrace with lion statues, guarding the temple.

The second building measures 83 by 77 meters which are surrounded by galleries, this enclosure is almost intact except on the corner of the east, it seems to be ruin at some point in time. There are the gopura entrance gates in each corner. The case of the lintels and pediments on the gopuras in this building are very well preserved.

When you enter the inner sanctuary, you will be surprised that the platform of the temple is so high. There are so many low galleries with a gopura gate at the center of each side, that give you the feeling like losing in a maze. In the center of the platform, it is a single sanctuary tower with the function to open the door of a mandapa to the east side. The central tower and the gopuras contain devatas, which describes the scenes from the Ramayana epic as well as the life of the Buddha, but it has been destroyed apart. Entering the mandapa, you will go to a stone tomb with a lid on it and a small drain at the bottom, which may have been used as a sarcophagus.

Banteay Samre temple

The unique architecture of Banteay Samre temple

Visiting Asia tour packages to satisfy your curiosity of Cambodia right now, it is a good chance for you to explore the beautiful and mysterious country. Coming to Cambodia, you will have the feeling like riding on the time machine to throw back the time of the lost Angkor civilization-one of the most glorious empires existing in the human history. If this information is useful for you, share with others to have the experience like you. Thank you!

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