The Silver Pagoda locally named Preah Keo Morakot Temple, had imitated the Cambodian architecture and been built since 1892 to 1902. Then, it was removed and reconstructed in 1962. Previously, the temple was called Wat Ubor Soth Rotana Ream Temple because the King of Cambodia used this temple for holding ceremonies to follow the eight silos on every Buddhist holiday. In addition, the relatives of Kings and officers had held other ceremonies abiding by Buddhism at this temple. But in this temple didn’t have monks, only his Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk stays there during the time of being a priest for a term (in the year of pig AD 2490 Correspondence the 31st July 1947). Therefore, it had a normal word called ” Preah Vihear Preah Keo ” is not ” Wat ” in the said word. When His Majesty celebrated any Buddhism celebration day, he would invite monks from another monastery in Phnom Penh City such as Wat Unaloam, Wat Botumvattey etc.
The Silver Pagoda is located in the South of Royal palace surrounding by high long-buildings. Before constructing the Phnom Penh Bali school on the 19th December 1930, along these long building where we used to use as Bali class for monks who stayed in Pagodas in Phnom Penh and some provinces.
On the wall of long buildings, there are ancient pictures, which described the Ramayana story for the beginning to end. These pictures were painted from 1903-1904 under the lead of Oknha Tepnimitt Theak with 40 Cambodian artists. The picture lasts from the southeastern long buildings to surround the whole long buildings in 642-meter length and 3-metre height. This means that we can see the pictures of the buildings by three times walking circle. The ancient pictures around the buildings are the Ramayana story showed the strange feature which is not etched or copied from Ramayanna of Indian because in the Ramayana we have seen some mysteries when we watch clearly, we will understand the story. Some parts of Ramayana story have been quoted to perform in Lo Kuon Khuol, Shadow Puppets or other figures and used as astrology for predicting the human destiny.
Nowadays, the pictures are old and gradually disappear because of weather and the human damages. In 1985, the Royal Government of Cambodia collaborated with the Government of Poland had conducted a project for protecting and repairing the pictures, but the project lasted only five years because of the budget constrain. Now the Royal Government of Cambodia is finding means to maintain and repair this cultural heritage again. In front of the temple, there are two big stupas and a statue covered by roof:
The southern stupa is the stupa keeping cremated ash of Preah Bat Ang Duong and was constructed on Friday 11 Koet, Khe Pro Kun in the year of goat AD 2450 correspondence to 13 March 1908 (who is a grand grandfather of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk).
The northern stupa is the stupa keeping cremated ash of Preah Bat Norodom and was constructed on Friday in the year of goat AD 2450 correspondence to 13 March 1908 (who is a grand-grand grandfather of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk). A statue on a white horse is the statue of Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom constructed in 1875, which is a keepsake from the King of Napoleon III of France and kept in front of the temple in 1892, but it had no roof. Until 1953 when Samdech, the president of state arranged the crusade to claim for independence from French colony, he prayed for success in front of this statue. After success in claiming for independence from the colony, he built the roof as the compensation to the sacred power of Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom there.
The temple made of wood and brick, built in the reign of Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom, and held the festival of Bonh Chos Sey Ma Chhlong on the 5 February 1903. Then the temple was ruined and required repairing in 1962 by the thought of Samdech Preah Moha Ksat Yani Kosomak Neary Rath, the queen under the highest leading of Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk. This old temple was removed and re-constructed from reinforced concrete with remaining the ancient architectural style; the floor made of silver and the column stuck by Thmor Keo imported from Italy.
The temple is called Preah Vihea Preah Keo Marakot, which take the name of a Buddhist statue inside made of precious gem considered as “Keo Morakot “. But the European called the temple Silver Temple because it is subject to the floor in the whole temple made of 5,329 pure silver tiles; each silver tile weighted 1.125 Kg.
In the temple, there are 1,650 artifacts made of gold, silver and bronze with diamonds (most of them are statues). All of these artifacts are offered by the King, the Royal Families, officers and people to Preah Keo Morakot in wishing for happiness, peace, prosperity in this world and next world, and for keeping as the cultural heritage for the next generation.
In front of the Bos Bok Thom, there is a big standing Buddhist statue made of gold weighted 90 kg (included support and above umbrella) with 2,086 multi-diamonds. The biggest diamond at the crown has a size of 25 Li and the diamond on Preah Sorong has a size of 20 Li. This Buddhist statue made in 1904 by Preah Bat Samdech Preah Sisowath who abided by the left word of Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom before he died. The left word said that after his cremation must get that gold casket to melt for making a Buddhist statue representing Preah Srey Araya Metrey. After that, Preah Bat Samdech Preah Sisowath organized a construction of this Buddhist statue to dedicate the offer to Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom in achieving Preah Srey Araya Metrey in the year of Buddhist era in 5,000 and named this Buddhist statue Preah Chin Rang Sey Reach Chik Norodom.
At the Bos Bok, Preah Keo Morakot is the main object in calling this temple. In a small glass cabinet, there is the cremated ash of His Majesty brought from Sri Lanka by Samdech Preah Song Kariech Levy Em who stayed at Wat Lang Ka pagoda, Phnom Penh in 1956.
In the next cabinet, there is the gift offered by Samdech Preah Ksat Trey Yani Sisowath Kosomak Neary Rath, the queen in 1969. The gift is the golden Buddhist statue.
The dragon headed Buddhist statue represented the Buddha who stayed on Plur Sras Mochak Linti at that time. The objects contains in other cabinets are the remembrance and decoration stuff for various Royal ceremonial and religious celebrations.
At the southern part of the temples, there are Keung Preah Bat which is a place where kept the footprints of the four Buddhists. They have already achieved the enlightenment, namely: Kok San Thor, Nea Kak Mono, Kas Sabor and Sam Monak Kodom. Other Buddhists who have not yet achieved the enlightenment included Preah Srey Araya Metrey . He has been believed that he survived the human being in the future.
The mountain of Kharn Mali Nea Tip Tit Key Las or Mun Dup is the invented mountain representing the mountain of Key Las where the Buddhist steps on the stone to make his footprint. At the top of the mountain, there are monuments containing Buddhist footprint, and 108 small statues describing the 108 Mong Kol of birth and death of the Buddhist before he achieved the enlightenment to become the Preah Sama Samput.
The tower of Kun Theak Bopha was build in 1960 for containing the cremated ash of Preah Ang Mochas Ksat Trey Norodom Kun Theak Bopha who is a daughter of Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, she died of illness since she was four years old. This tower imitated the ancient temple abiding by the style of Banteay Srey.
Monti Sar Thom or Thomak Sala is the place where for praying. Stupa of Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sora Mrith built in 1960, is the father of Preah Bat Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk.
The West is the bell hall for signs to open and close the door of Preah Keo Morakot temple during the big ceremonies.
The North is the Mun Dup for keeping Preah Tray Bey Dok books. Preah Tray Bey Dok or Pro Chum Ney Lo Ey Bey , the meeting of Preah Thom Vi Ney, the Buddhist rules sharing into three parts :Vi Ney Bey Dok ( the advice to notification and permission) ,So Ta Nak Bey Dok ( the advice to showing wrong and right, good and bad; but it is not allowed as Vi Ney Bey Dok), Ak Phi Thomak Bey Dok (s the explanation to mind, Chet Set, body and nirvana; It is not allowed either), Preah Tray Bey Dok has 110 parts divided into 84,000 paragraphs.