Preah Palilay (Angkor Thom)
Posted 22 January 2024

(Photos by: Apsara National Authority)

Preah Palilay: A Tranquil Sanctuary Amidst Angkor's Giants

Preah Palilay, nestled in the northern part of Angkor Thom, near the Royal Palace, is a hidden gem among the grand temples of Siem Reap. This small yet enchanting temple offers a tranquil retreat from the more frequented sites of Angkor. Its origins are somewhat mysterious, with architectural styles suggesting it was built in the late 13th century, possibly during the reign of Jayavarman VIII.

The temple, primarily Buddhist in its iconography, is a blend of Hindu and Buddhist elements, reflecting the religious transitions of the Khmer Empire. One of the most distinctive features of Preah Palilay is its tall, tapering central tower, reminiscent of the Bayon style but with simpler decorations. The tower is surrounded by a laterite wall and an ancient moat, now dry, which adds to the temple's serene ambiance.

Visitors to Preah Palilay are greeted by a peaceful forested path leading to the temple, a journey that feels like stepping back in time. The area is often quiet, allowing for a contemplative exploration. The temple itself, though modest in size, is rich in history and spiritual significance.

The carvings and bas-reliefs in Preah Palilay, though fewer than in larger temples, are noteworthy for their elegance and detail. They depict scenes from Buddhist mythology, including the story of the Buddha overcoming temptation by Mara.

The temple is surrounded by lush vegetation, with towering trees and dense foliage enveloping the ruins. This natural overgrowth adds a mystical quality to Preah Palilay, making it a photographer's delight. The play of light and shadow through the trees creates a magical atmosphere, particularly in the early morning or late afternoon.

Preah Palilay stands as a testament to the enduring spiritual heritage of Cambodia. Its blend of architectural beauty, historical intrigue, and natural serenity makes it a must-visit for those seeking a quieter, more intimate experience of Angkor's wonders.

Major Sight Spots in Preah Palilay

Tall Central Tower: Reflecting Bayon-style architecture.

Buddhist Carvings: Elegant bas-reliefs depicting Buddhist mythology.

Forest Path: A serene walk through the lush jungle.

Surrounding Nature: Overgrown trees and foliage around the ruins.

Ancient Moat: The dry moat encircling the temple.


You may like Tourism

Victory Gate (Angkor Thom)
(Photos by: Apsara National Authority) Victory Gate of Angkor Thom: The Triumphal Entrance to Ancient Glory The Victory Gate, one of the five main gates of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire, is a monument steeped in historical significance and architectural grandeur. Located on the eastern wall of Angkor Thom, this gate is often...
West Gate (Angkor Thom)
(Photos by: Apsara National Authority) West Gate of Angkor Thom: A Journey into Cambodia's Hidden Past The West Gate of Angkor Thom, often overshadowed by its more famous counterparts, is a hidden treasure within the ancient Khmer capital. This gate, less frequented by tourists, offers a unique and tranquil glimpse into the history and...
Gate of the Dead (Angkor Thom)
(Photos by: Apsara National Authority) Gate of the Dead: The Solemn Passage into Angkor Thom's Past The Gate of the Dead, also known as the Victory Gate, is one of the five gates that lead into the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Khmer Empire. This gate, located on the eastern wall of Angkor Thom, is unique for its historical and...
North Gate (Angkor Thom)
(Photos by: Apsara National Authority) North Gate of Angkor Thom: A Gateway to Ancient Mysteries and Splendor The North Gate of Angkor Thom, often less frequented than its southern counterpart, offers a unique and serene experience for visitors exploring the ancient city of the Khmer Empire. Situated directly opposite the Royal Palace, this gate...
South Gate (Angkor Thom)
(Photos by: MK BlessedPhoto & Apsara National Authority) South Gate of Angkor Thom: The Grand Gateway to Ancient Wonders The South Gate of Angkor Thom is not just an entrance; it's a magnificent prelude to the ancient city's grandeur and architectural brilliance. Located at the main entrance to Angkor Thom, the last and most enduring capital city...
Messages {{unread_count}}
Chat with: {{currentConversation.display_name}}
{{chat.display_name ? chat.display_name[0] : ''}}


You: {{chat.last_message.content}}

{{chat.unread_count }}