Posted 22 January 2024

(Photos by: Apsara National Authority)

Thommanon: A Jewel of Angkorian Art and Architecture

Thommanon, a small yet striking temple, stands as a testament to the artistic and architectural prowess of the ancient Khmer civilization. Located just east of the Angkor Thom gate, this temple, built in the early 12th century during the reign of Suryavarman II, mirrors the style of the famous Angkor Wat.

Thommanon is renowned for its well-preserved carvings and bas-reliefs, which are some of the finest examples of Khmer art. The temple is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva, and its intricate sculptures and carvings depict various Hindu deities, including Vishnu and the goddess Devi.

The temple's layout is simple yet elegant, featuring a central sanctuary, a library, and two laterite enclosures. The main sanctuary is mounted on a raised platform, accessible via a steep staircase, symbolizing the ascent to the heavenly realms. The carvings on the doorframes and lintels are particularly noteworthy, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship of Khmer artisans.

Thommanon is often compared to its nearby counterpart, Chau Say Tevoda, as both temples share a similar style and were restored using the anastylosis method. Despite its modest size, Thommanon offers a rich experience, allowing visitors to admire the intricacies of Angkorian architecture and art up close.

Its location near the major temples of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom makes Thommanon an easily accessible and rewarding addition to any itinerary exploring the ancient wonders of Siem Reap. The temple’s blend of historical significance, artistic beauty, and architectural elegance makes it a must-visit for anyone interested in Cambodia's rich heritage.

Major Sight Spots in Thommanon

Central Sanctuary: The heart of the temple, featuring intricate carvings.

Carved Lintels and Doorframes: Exquisite examples of Angkorian art.

The Library Building: A smaller structure with unique architectural features.

Enclosures: The outer and inner enclosures surrounding the temple.

Sculptures of Hindu Deities: Depictions of Shiva, Vishnu, and Devi.


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