Preah Vihear

Constructed : Late 9th Century - Early 12th Century

Location : On Dangrek Mountain (Near Thailand Border)

Access : Hiring Pick-Up or Motor-Taxi from ticket booth

Religion : Hindu (dedicated to Shiva)

King : Yasovarman I (889-910), Suryavarman I (1002-1049), Suryavarman II (1113-1150)

Art Style : Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear Temple located in Preah Vihear Province, Cambodia and built at the most spectacular location of any Khmer site at the near Thailand border. It is 225 kilometers northeast of Siem Reap. It was a large temple which was built on the top of Chuor Phnom Dangrek which divides the Khorat Plateau from the lowland Cambodia plain below. It is about 550 meters from the ground level of Cambodia side. Preah Vihear temple, which took over 300 years to complete the construction by a few famous Khmer king, was firstly built from 893 by the king Yasovarman I who ruled the country from 889 to probably 910. The majority of temple edifice was established by king Suryavarman I (1002 - 1049) and finally the temple was completed during the reign of great king Suryavarman II (1113 – 1150), the well-known king who was the founder of magnificent temple of Angkor Wat at Siem Reap province (Rooney 2006). King Suryavarman II known as a great Khmer king who dominated the Khorat Plateau, Lopburi and even further north in Thailand and he extended the Khmer Empire to the border of Pagan in Myanmar; and south into the northern part of the Malay Peninsula (Coe D. 2004). The main purpose of the temple is the mountain temple which is the symbol of sacred mountain “Meru” where is the abode of all the gods of Hindu. The temple was mainly dedicated to the supreme god “Shiva” (Rooney 2006). Preah Vihear temple is the reason of arguments between Cambodia and Thailand. On the 23rd March 1907, after the border treaty between France protectorate (1863 – 1953) and Thailand, land and temple was returned to Cambodian sovereignty. In 1954, Thai took control Preah Vihear by arm force again and removed many pieces of stones from the temple. It was the reason of Prime Minister Sihanouk during that time took the argument to the International court on 6th October 1959. The justice court awarded Preah Vihear temple on 15th June 1962 to Cambodia. Moreover the court judged that Thai Authority has to compulsorily remove their arm force and restore the temple by bring back the piece of stone which were removed under Thai occupation to Preah Vihear (International Court of Justice Data Base).