Angkor Temples With Barays

Temples with large ponds


Angkor temples were always built with symbolism in mind. Case in point: the temples that were built in the middle of the barays (reservoirs).

What's so symbolic about the barays, anyway? Well, as legends have it, Mt Meru, the residence of god Shiva, is located in the middle of a huge lake.

All of the Ankor kings considered themselves Devaraja (God King), and so they built residences and temples to reflect their own god-like qualities. 

In this case, the reservoir represents the lake, and the temple in the middle (always in a shape of a mountain or a pyramid) as Mt. Meru.

When that was done, they became more 'legitimate' god-kings, on par with Shiva.

Here are some of the temples that were built in the middle of man made lakes.

Eastern Mebon and Eastern Baray

At one time, the Eastern Mebon was accessible only by boat, but the baray long since completely dried up.

You can now walk on dry land to the temple.

 

Angkor Baray Temples - Eastern Mebon
Eastern Mebon, sitting on a dry baray.
Photo by E. Molina

Lolei and Lolei Baray (Indratataka)

The baray at Lolei's has also dried up, leaving the temple accessible by foot.

What was once a baray is now rice fields.

 

 

 

Angkor Baray Temples - Rolous Temple Lolei
Lolei temple.
Photo by Vanina W.

Neak Pean and the Northern Baray

A temple in the middle of the Northern Baray. Although the large baray has dried up, the temple and the two coiling naga statues stand on a circular 'island' right in the middle of the pool.

The pool still gets filled with water in the rainy season.

 

Angkor Baray Temples - Neak Pean
Neak Pean when the pond is empty.
Photo by E. Molina


Western Mebon and Western Baray

A temple in the middle of the Western Baray. Currently in bad condition, but Cambodians still go to this temple to give offerings on special days. This temple is accessible by a short boat ride since the baray still holds a huge amount of water.

 

 

 

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How To Get To These Baray Temples?

All of these temples are accessible by the normal transportation modes, be it tuktuk, moto, or car.

Eastern Mebon and Neak Pean are located near the Angkor Thom area, so you can just stop for a visit when you're there.

Western Baray is located on the opposite side of Eastern Mebon, but it's not far at all, and is easily accessible by tuktuk and moto.

Lolei is the farthest one, and it is easily visited when you visit the Rolous group temples. Click here to read more about temple transportation choices.


Where would you like to go next?

Return to The Angkor Temples, for a brief overview of all the temples within the park. 

Return to Holiday in Angkor Wat (home page).



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