Tep Pranam is not a temple – but a special experience
It is believed to have been a sacred site since the 9th century, with an orange canopy overhead for shade and mats on the floor for you to sit on – Tep Pranam is designed as a quiet place for contemplation.
As you sit before a Buddha draped in an orange sash that is surveying all – fresh offerings are placed at his feet by monks, who humbly go about their prayers.
In that same place sat the original Buddha, who by all accounts had been there for centuries – but somehow it was removed.
Now one knows by who – or how – but it would have surely been a mammoth task to relocate such a heavy monument anywhere else. A more modern statue was put in its spot to replace the original Buddha and even though there appears to be no written records left behind – it is believed it happened because this was such a sacred place.
A chat with a local man points out the small piece missing from the Buddha’s face, he claimed this happened during a war (but did not know which one). He goes on to tell me that this is where the enemy took aim at the Buddha and shot…thus scarring it forever more.
At Tep Pranam large candles burn in honor of Buddha and if you are lucky enough, you can receive a blessing from a monk. After the blessing, they will tie a red cotton thread around your right wrist to seal the prayer.
After the small ceremony and with your bracelet as a reminder – it gives you a sense of peace, allowing you to soak up the energy that Angkor Thom Archaeology Park has to offer.
Tip: If you want to see the Buddha and receive a blessing – it is customary to take off your shoes before you step onto the mats and show respect at all times.
It is also important how you dress and you may want to read our article on Purchasing Temple Tickets.