Standing in this ancient temple you can feel how grand it once appear centuries ago.
Baphuon Temple has seen much religious turmoil in its history and here you will find a mixture of both Buddhist and Hindu influences that demonstrates this contrast.
Originally built in the 11th century, Baphuon Temple was dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva and in the 13th century, Cambodia had reverted to Buddhism – then converting this temple into a Buddhist place of worship.
The whole place exudes a feeling of grandeur – with the use of a little imagination, you can see how opulent Baphuon Temple would have looked.
It is a three tiered temple monument, but much of it has largely collapsed; however, there have been efforts on an international scale to resort these scarred remains.
The first attempt of restoration began in 1960, but was incomplete when the Khmer Rouge came to power and took over the whole country.
During this time in Cambodian recent history, meticulous records of the position of the stones were lost – so it became like a jigsaw puzzle for archaeologists to work out how to piece Baphoun Temple back together.
A second effort to restore the structure was started in 1995 and since then, ongoing restorations has been taking place, trying to reconstruct this monument back to its former glory.
You can climb to the top of Baphoun Temple and it really is amazing to be standing on top of this beautiful piece of history, while you cast yourself back in time and imagine – how grand this place once was….and that is not hard to do.
TIP: There are lots of steps so it is advisable to wear good walking shoes.
You may also like to read our article on Handy Information About Siem Reap For First Timers.
Below is an excellent 3-D video of what the magnificent Baphoun Temple would have looked like in the height of the Khmer reign.