Neak Pean Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Visiting the majestic Neak Pean Temple is a life-changing experience for tired souls
Rated 4.4/5 (based on 91 reviews)
Best time to visit
Nov - Apr
About Neak Pean Temple in Siem Reap
Neak Pean is a vintage throwback to how ancient Khmer healthcare looked like. Now the island temple looks like isolated remains of the olden days, but it was created keeping in mind extensive mythical references. Neak Pean Siem Reap is one of the many attractions in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Although not as famous or as grand as Angkor Wat or Angkor Thom, Neak Pean has its own mysterious and aesthetic appeal. Moreover, the temple would undoubtedly fascinate those who are really interested in ancient and medieval culture and lifestyles.
Neak Pean temple was constructed during the reign of Khmer King Jayavarman VII, the same Khmer ruler who freed the Angkor region from Champas of Vietnam and established the capital at Angkor Thom and later the Bayon temple. He was known for his devotion towards Mahayana Buddhism, and Neak pean is yet another example of his loyalty towards the faith.
Neak Pean temple Siem Reap is situated right in the middle of a lake, known as Jayatataka Baray adjacent to Preah Khan temple. A Baray is an artificially created water body and was a common thing in the Khmer empire. The etymology of the temple refers to the two entwining snakes at the base of the temple, presumably called Nanda and Upananda. ‘Neak’ easily sounds like a Khmer derivative of the Sanskrit word ‘naga’ meaning snakes.
Coming to the architecture of Neak Pean Cambodia, the temple is said to be representing the mythical lake Anavatapta, which lies right in the center of the Buddhist cosmological view and known for its healing powers. Jayavarman II commanded the construction of the temple and its surrounding lakes probably for the same reason – for natural cure and healing of diseases and ailments. A dip in the waters of Neak Pean would balance the universal elements in an individual, they believed.
Thus the four ponds on the four cardinal points stand for fire, water, air, and wind, while the central water body, in the middle of which the temple stands, represents the earth. All the four ponds are connected with the central one by stone conduits, presided over by stone gargoyles of the heads of a horse, a lion, an elephant and a human – the four great animals. The central shrine of Neak Pean temple Cambodia belonged to Avalokiteshvara, the embodiment of all Buddha forms. The causeway that originally connected the bank of the pond with the temple on the eastern side had the statue of Horse Balaha, a manifestation of Buddha where he helps soldiers escape from an island on his back.
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FAQ's of Siem Reap
Read on to find out why our customers love us!
Neak Pean temple used to be a center of healing during the Khmer empire and bases its construction on Buddhist mythical beliefs.
The entry cost of Neak Pean is included in the Angkor Park ticket bought at the entrance.
The main attraction at Neak Pean is its natural and architectural beauty. The place is very photogenic and makes for great photo backgrounds.
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