Thursday, December 19, 2019


Neak Pean is a small artificial circular island dominated in the middle by a Buddhist temple. It is designed under Khmer architecture. (probably a replica of Lake Anavatapta, a legendary Himalayan lake). It is accessed by a wooden bridge of 800m through Jayatataka Baray (the mangrove of Preah Khan Temple). Through its architecture and five pools, this site exudes a serene atmosphere. In this atmosphere, it is very pleasant to admire how Buddhism and Hinduism combine harmoniously. Built by Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century, Neak Pean Temple was dedicated to the Buddhist religion. He was thus dedicated to Lokeshvara, a bodhisattva of compassion. However, according to Hindu believers, the layout of each basin was laid out according to an ancient Hindu belief. The four basins thus represented water, earth, fire and wind. By simply bathing, they believed that the waters had a medicinal virtue could thus fix their problems. As a result, the temple was, from its construction, considered a public hospital. Longtime, invaded by the jungle, the temple of Neak Pean was found in 1920 To see: the gargoyles .
One shaped like an elephant's head to the north, a horse to the west, a lion to the south and a man to the east. According to the Hindu belief on which its layout is based, the elephant head symbolizes water, the horse head represents the wind, the lion head evokes fire and the human head reflects the earth.  Elephant, House, Lion, and human head is each made like fountain spitting water through an opening, curing various kinds of sickness. Back in time, people came to this hospital, first got "washed" on by water to "detect" the kind of sickness one may have, then one would follow instructions on using different fountains to get treatments. The function of the hospital was to provide spiritual cure to sick ones, different from the functions of modern hospital.
Located about 2.5 km east of Preah Khan, an interesting site for a walk through the mangrove.

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