Baphuon Temple is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia.

Baphuon Temple, Baphuon Temple,

Baphuon Temple located in Angkor Thom, northwest of the Bayon.

Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Baphuon Temple built as the state temple of Udayadityavarman II dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva.

Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Baphuon Temple is the archetype of the Baphuon style.

Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Baphuon Temple adjoins the southern enclosure.

Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Baphuon Temple was built on land filled with sand.

Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Baphuon is located 200 metres (656 feet) northwest of the Bayon and south of Phimeanakas.

Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia Baphuon Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Baphuon Temple used to be one of the most beautiful temples of Angkor Complex, built by King Udayadiyavaman II in the middle of the 11th century.

Situated 8km from Siem Riep Town, Baphuon Temple is belonged to Angkor Thom – the final capital of Angkor Kingdom (Cambodia). It lies to the northwest of Bayon – a world-renowned temple of Cambodia.  The large scale of this temple is ranked No. 2 by scientists (behind Angkor Wat). But the thing making its fame is involved in the strange fate of this temple. The thrilling story of Baphuon Temple started 50 years ago when scientists discovered it in ruins. The impacts of time seemed to put the temple into the risk of disappearance. To save this great historical works, French scientists planned to disaggregate the temple in 1960. 3,000 stones were dismantled and numbered to be assembled in a more solid structure afterwards.

However, at that time, the invasion of Khmer Rouge army (1970-1975) destroyed the plan to revive the temple. This incident turned Baphuon into a ruin. The worst thing is the complete destruction of its initial appearance as well as documents for restoration (made by French scientists). Until 1995, the restoration of Baphuon continued.

In such condition, scientists had to make huge efforts during 50 years to reconstruct Baphuon and give its initial majestic shape back. The restoration process of Baphuon Temple is compared with that of solving the biggest three-dimensional geometric problem in the world. After being destroyed many times by both nature and human, Baphuon Temple revived. In 2011, the temple officially reopens to welcome visitors from everywhere around the world. The vicissitudes in the fate of the temple make it even more famous rather than its own splendid architecture.

Nowadays, after crossing the Naga Snake Bridge, tourists can go to the main entrance in the east to visit the world inside the temple. According to the belief of Khmer Rouge, Naga snake is considered the God who guards and wards off evil spirits. The bridge in the shape of Naga snake, in a way, symbolizes the rainbow linking heaven and earth. This is the way to reach the residence of gods on the top of the temple. The modern Khmer people also respect the keeping of these sacred values. Eleven taboos are set out for tourists when they come to the temple including no smoking, don’t make noise…

The magnificence of huge stones placed along the corridor and spacious windows make the beauty of Baphuon. It is built in the style of Khmer architecture on a hill. High stone steps make the temple more majestic. Standing on the top of the temple, you can admire gorgeous structures of Angkor Thom surrounded by the shadow of thousand-year-old-trees.

Ancient Sanskrit words on the aisle or bas-reliefs on the stone contain mysterious stories of the glorious Angkor civilization. Tourists also often stay longer to admire the famous Buddha statue carved on a 40m wall at the western exit of the temple. This structure is regarded as an architectural mark of Baphuon, creating its distinctive beauty to identify the temple compared to hundreds of other temples. This is also a vivid evidence of Khmer religious conversion over historical periods. The first aim of building Baphuon is to worship God Shiva, but it has become a Buddhist temple since the 16th century.

Every day, Baphuon Temple welcomes thousands of international tourists. Besides the restored structure, there are still other mysteries covering this temple, which is a challenge for modern scientists. So let’s have a visit to this unique wonder to enjoy its beauty yourself!

 

Top attractions in Siem Reap