Thousand Lingas
Thousand Lingas Thousand Lingas

Thousand Lingas overview

Those who have visited Cambodia know that the country not only boasts the Angkor Complex but also a past shaped by massive architectural structures. Kbal Spean, also known as “The River of a Thousand Lingas,” is a remarkable tourist destination and a holy river that tourists to Cambodia should not miss.

This waterway is known as a sacred river, with the riverbed engraved with Shiva God emblems, slabs with Vishnu God images or the lotus of Brahma God, and several bas-reliefs of Apsara dancers…

This wonder is located on the 450m high Kulen Hills, about 55 kilometers or 1 hour by driving from Siem Reap town to Thousand Lingas in Kbal Spean.

Its Khmer name is Kbal Spean, which means “bridgehead” (literally) and “origin” (figuratively). Visitors, particularly Westerners, commonly refer to it as “the river of a thousand Lingas” because of the countless Lingas sculpted in the riverbed.

Highlights of Thousand Lingas

Isolated from the outer world, this river is surrounded by infinite green forests. The water flows gently and quietly. Because of its tiny flow, it is more accurately referred to as a stream. This torrent, which originates at the top of the hill, travels between slabs beneath forest canopies.

On a section of the river covering nearly 100,000 m2, Khmer people carved several Hindu gods, flowers, animals, and yoni reliefs. It evokes ancient people’s hopes for wealth and their great faith in gods. This is a sacred river that everyone wishes to visit at least once in their lives to worship and bathe in.

According to locals, the River of a Thousand Lingas is notable for the numerous stone artistic marvels found in the riverbed. Thousands of Lingas and Yoni statues of all sizes, as well as god figures from the Khmer Epic, are intricately carved. With almost 100 years, this is the most time-consuming artwork. Its most notable and significant feature is a thousand Lingas, which symbolize the destructive force in Hinduism.

People have long wondered how predecessors were able to build this structure and sculpt reliefs in the riverbed. Cambodians think that bathing in this creek will help youngsters grow up strong and intelligent. During the holiday season, thousands of children are frequently brought here by their parents to gain physical strength.

Best time to visit Thousand Lingas

The dry season, between November and May, is the greatest time to come since reliefs on the banks and in the riverbed may be seen clearly without being immersed in the water. Over thousands of years, the river has preserved Lingas and god statues. Because the water does not rise too high during the wet season, we can still see bendable pictures of Lingas through the water. Furthermore, this stretch of the river provides travelers with more intriguing things to see, such as stunning waterfalls. Visitors can locate towering cascades to bathe in along wooded pathways.

The food specialties in the Thousand Lingas area

You can enjoy rustic dishes in thatched cafes after exploring the River of a Thousand Lingas. You can also sample a fruit treat that is a delicacy of this region (a type of litchi).

Despite the lack of temples, this location oozes mystery and sacredness. It is a fantastic site for individuals who are fascinated by the religious ideals of the Khmer people.

How to travel to Thousand Lingas?

It is about 55 kilometers from Siem Reap town to Thousand Lingas in Kbal Spean, it takes about 1 hour by taxi or drive from the center of Siem Reap town to this unique site. 

Despite the lyrical environment and the sacred river, which contains so many distinct religious symbols, tourism services are still limited in this area. The explanation could be inconvenient transportation or a long distance from the city.

But there’s no denying that Kbal Spean – the River of a Thousand Lingas – is a beautiful landmark in Siem Reap and throughout Cambodia. Don’t limit yourself to the Angkor temples in Siem Reap! Visit this sacred river for more exciting vacation opportunities!


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