Angkor Thom - Preah Palilai

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General information, history

Preah Palilai, Angkor Thom

Preah Palilay located on the territory of Angkor Thoma, in its northwestern part. It is located a little away from the main facilities, and is surrounded by a dense forest.

Dedicated to Buddhism, mixed style (Bayon, Angkor Wat).

Prea Palilai was built in the middle of the XII – early XIII centuries under Jayavarman VII (Jayavarman VII, ruled 1181-1215). The territory was cleared in 1918-1919, the temple was restored in the 30s of the XX century.

Prea Palilai is interesting because of the unusual cone-shaped shape of the central and only tower, as well as perennial trees growing on the base of the temple.

Orientation, tips for inspection

You can get to Prea Palilaya exclusively on foot, either from Tepe Pranam walking a little more than a hundred meters to the northwest, or from the entrance (northwest) gopura of the Royal Palace to the north, in a straight line, 200 m. This is a place rarely visited by tourists.

The temple is quite badly destroyed, so it will be interesting mainly for real lovers of this kind of attractions. For a simple man in the street, it will probably not be of much value, if not the century-old cotton trees that have grown into the base of the temple (from the south side). A very impressive view (although more spectacular pictures of this kind can be seen in Taprom).

The time for inspection should be no more than 30 minutes (with the road).

The first half of the day is better suited for a photo.

Construction, architecture

The main entrance is on the east side. A small cross-shaped road 30 m long and 8.5 m wide leads to it, the entrance to it is made by the remains of figures of warriors and lions. The road is raised above the ground to a height of about a meter, and on both sides it is framed by perfectly preserved statues of nagas. At the end of the road leads to a small covered wooden pavilion, where on a towering pedestal there is a statue of a sitting Buddha, 3 m high, found during restoration work and installed in the pavilion in front of the temple.

Behind the Buddha is the entrance gopura of the Prea Palilaya temple, and then the temple itself.

The perimeter of the temple is surrounded by a stone wall (50m by 50m), which has three entrances. One of them is the main entrance, oriented to the east, and representing the only entrance cross–shaped gopura of the temple. Gopura has, in addition to the central aisle, two additional ones on both sides. Of particular note are the well-preserved images of Buddhist scenes, Buddha, animals and birds above the entrances. The other two entrances to the temple are from the north and from the south.

The base of the Prea Palilaya itself has a three-stage structure, on which rises the central tower of the temple, resembling a cone. You can climb into the temple premises using the eastern and northern axial staircases, the rest are destroyed. The height of the tower is 6 m.

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