Bakong Pagoda is a famous pagoda in the Angkor ruins, Siem Reap province. The pagoda is one of the three most important historical monuments of Hariharalaya city at the time, which is an indispensable tourist spot in the Cambodia and Vietnam tours, so that travelers can learn more about the history and description of the pagoda as following.
History of Bakong Pagoda
The relics of Bakong Pagoda inside the great Angkor
Bakong Pagoda is about 13 kilometers from the center of Siem Reap. This pagoda is also located in Angkor, built in the ninth century under the reign of King Indravarman I. The pagoda is one of the most important monuments of Hariharalaya - the famous ancient city in history, and the local people used to call it Roluos. The beauty of Bakong architecture expresses in the way it was built that towards the mountainous temple and pagoda style.
In 802, after establishing his Kingdom for a while, King Jayavarman II built the Hariharalaya capital. In the same period of ninth century, a monument built in the style of mountainous pagoda began the era of this Angkor architectural complex - Bakong Pagoda. King Indravarman I dedicated the pagodas and temples to the god Shiva named Sri Indesvara, a combination of Hinduism. Shiva images were carved directly on the walls.
Bakong Pagoda sculptures
Bakong Pagoda lasted only a few years. In the ninth century, King Indravarman, the son of Yasovarman, transferred the capital from Hariharalaya Pagoda to the north of Siem Reap which today is Angkor Thom. In here, he founded a new city called Yasodharapura and built two giant pagodas named Phnom Krom and Phnom Bok. From this time, Bakong Pagoda had been abandoned and forgotten. Only after the Angkor population was discovered, did Bakong be identified and protected for visitors to explore.
Bakong Pagoda is very large. The main tower is located in the middle and also the highest position of Bakong. In order to reach the main tower, visitors have to go beyond the statues outside to climb the high stairs. From a distance, it looks extremely great and historic that not everyone is brave enough to go to reach the pagoda.
Architecture of Bakong Pagoda
The works featuring the Cambodian architecture
Bakong Pagoda is not as famous as many other pagodas in Cambodia, but for those who have visited here, they extremely enjoy the peace of the pagoda. Bakong was built with unique Cambodian architectural space, fresh, pleasant air, and peaceful atmosphere. Visitors will have time to walk around the temple and learn the ancient features, memories, and the pain of losing of Cambodia's history.
Bakong Pagoda is the first ancient architecture built in Siem Reap. It was built on high rocky substructure and divided into many areas. Exploring each area, visitors can feel the effort spent to build the greatest historical architectural monuments that still exists until today. Watching carefully, tourists will find that the work here was elaborately decorated which is meticulous to every detail with beautiful sculpture of Cambodian architecture.
The lion and elephant statues are defending the entrance
The picturesque scenery of Bakong Pagoda can make visitors surprised. The pagoda is surrounded by eight pagodas and elephant rocky walls of about 900 meters in length and 700 meters in width. The central pagoda has 5 floors. The fifth floor has a tower which is the highest one with a height of 15 meters, surrounded by 12 small stupas. This pagoda is still intact and not destroyed. The eight pagodas surrounding the main pagoda are about 14 meters, but now there are only five pagoda left. The rest was destroyed by the harshness of time.
In this cluster, there are other buildings interleaving. Lion and elephant images were carved on the pagodas to defend and protect the road to the pagoda. The bottom tower also has the elephant and lion image yet at a higher levels of protection. At present, Bakong Pagoda has only maintained the foundation and the higher main pagoda. The lower ruins around the main pagoda was mostly destroyed and broken. With a long history, each block of stone has been covered with green and black moss, creating the wild and mysterious beauty for the pagoda. Bakong Pagoda, like Angkor Wat, also has a moat wrapped around it to easily defend and protect the pagoda during the war.
A tourist spot that everyone should visit in Cambodia
Bakong Pagoda is a new option in the Asian tour and travel, suitable for those who just want to explore in the quiet and peaceful space. The pagoda is far from the center of the city, so it can get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Coming here, visitors can easily indulge in daydream and be free to visit the unique architectural monument in the famous Angkor. If this is useful for you, please like and share with others. Thank you.