Preah Khan

The temple of Preah Khan is one of the largest complexes at Angkor. Like the nearby Ta Prohm, Preah Khan has been left largely unrestored, with numerous trees growing among the ruins.

Entrance to Preah Khan

Entrance to Preah Khan

Preah Khan was built by Jayavarman VII and probably served as his temporary residence while Angkor Thom was being built. Unusually for Angkor the modern name, meaning “holy sword”, is derived from the meaning of the original: Nagara Jayasri (holy city of victory).

Preah Khan temple

The outer wall of Preah Khan measures 800 by 700 meters (2,600 by 2,300 feet). Four ceremonial walkways approach the gates of the temple. The ultimate fusion temple, Preah Khan is both a Buddhist and Hindu temple. The eastern entrance is dedicated to Mahayana Buddhism with equal-sized doors. The other principal directions are dedicated to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma with successively smaller doors, emphasizing the unequal nature of Hinduism.

Preah Khan tree