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Preah Vihear Cambodia Temple

Preah Vihear Temple Cambodia

Preah Vihear Temple locates at Preah Vihear Province of Cambodia and sites at the most spectacular location of any Khmer site at the near by Thailand border. It is 100 kilometers northeast of Siem Reap; Si Sa Ket Province, Thailand. It was a large temple which was built on the top of Chuor Phnom Dangrek which divides the Khorat Plateau from the lowland Cambodian plain below. It is about 550 meters from the ground level of Cambodia side.

Preah Vihear temple, which took over 300 years to complete the construction by a few famous Khmer king, was firstly built from 893 by the king Yasovarman I who ruled the country from 889 to probably 910. The majority of temple edifice was established by king Suryavarman I (1002 - 1049) and finally the temple was completed during the reign of great king Suryavarman II (1113 – 1150), the well-known king who was the founder of magnificent temple of Angkor Wat at Siem Reap province (Rooney 2006). King Suryavarman II known as a great khmer king who dominated the Khorat Plateau, Lopburi and even further north in Thailand and he extended the Khmer Empire to the border of Pagan in Myanmar; and south into the northern part of the Malay Peninsula (Coe D. 2004).

The main purpose of the temple is the mountain temple which is the symbol of sacred mountain “Meru” where is the abode of all the gods of Hindu. The temple was mainly dedicated to the supreme god “Shiva” (Rooney 2006).

Preah Vihear temple is the reason of arguments between Cambodia and Thailand. On the 23rd March 1907, after the border treaty between France protectorate (1863 – 1953) and Thailand, land and temple was returned to Cambodian sovereignty. In 1954, Thai took control Preah Vihear by arm force again and removed many pieces of stones from the temple. It was the reason of Prime Minister Sihanouk during that time took the argument to the International court on 6th October 1959. The justice court awarded Preah Vihear temple on 15th June 1962 to Cambodia. Moreover the court judged that Thai Authority has to compulsorily remove their arm force and restore the temple by bring back the piece of stone which were removed under Thai occupation to Preah Vihear (International Court of Justice Data Base).

Tourist Tips: Currently to enter the Preah Vihear temple has to be done from Cambodia side. From Siem Reap to Preah Vihear temple by 4 wheel-drive vehicle and helicopter which can be organized at Siem Reap with our professional team are recommended. Tour Recommended: Siem Reap Sightseeing 6 Days

Bibliography:

  • International Court of justice, CASE CONCERNING THE TEMPLE OF PREAH VIHEAR (MERITS), Judgment of 15 June 1962, retrieved July 20, 2009 from http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/index.php?sum=284&code=ct&p1=3&p2=3&case=45&k=46&p3=5
  • Rooney F., 2006, Angkor: Cambodia’s Wondrous Khmer Temples, 5th edn, Twin Age Limited, Hong Kong, China, p. 382.
  • Coe D. 2004, Angkor, And The Khmer Civilization,1st edn, Thames & Hudson Ltd., High Holborn, London, p. 116.

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