Beang Mealea Temple

This temple is hardly visited because it is not in the temple circuit, which is a great pity as Beng Mealea is a specially spectacular sight. It is 60km from Siem Reap but only about 7km from the Kulen Mountains. So it is best to visit this temple when touring Banteay Srei and Kbal Spean in a one-day trip. This 12th century temple built by Suryavarman II (reigned 1112-52) who built the stupendous Angkor Wat is one of the most mysterious temples at Angkor. The design is very similar to Angkor Wat but it is single-storey whereas Angkor Wat is multi-storey. A massive moat of about one km in breadth encircles this jungle-clad temple. The jungle has claimed it more securely than it did Ta Prohm, and no restoration work has been done on it. The central sanctuary has collapsed totally bringing down some most impressive carvings that can be seen on the ground among the rubble. More are on the still standing walls and archways. A library building still stands intact in the northeastern corner. It is a special place and well deserves a visit.

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