Located about 30 kilometers to the north of the town of Kampong Thom, Cambodia, the buildings of Sambor Prei Kuk are characteristic of the Pre-Angkorean period with a simple external plan. This site was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List on September 1st, 1992 in the Cultural category.
Cambodia’s most impressive group of pre-Angkorian monuments, Sambor Prei Kuk encompasses more than 100 mainly brick temples scattered through the forest, among them some of the oldest structures in the country. Travel Indochina Cambodia
The principal material is brick, but sandstone is also used for certain structures. Architectural features include numerous prasats, octagonal towers, shiva lingams and yonis, ponds and reservoirs, and lion sculptures. Sambor Prei Kuk is located amidst mature sub-tropical forests with limited undergrowth. The area has been mined and could still contain unexploded ordnance.
The main temple area consists of three complexes: Prasat Sambor (North Group), Prasat Tor – Lion Temple (Central Group), Prasat Yeah Puon (South Group), each enclosed by the remains of two concentric walls. Their basic layout – a central tower surrounded by shrines, ponds and gates – may have served as an inspiration for the architects of Angkor five centuries later. Many of the original statues are now in the National Museum in Phnom Penh. Founded by King Isanavarman I during the seventh century, Sambo Prei Kuh was once the capital of Chenla known as Isanapura, and was a religious center dedicated to the worship of Shiva. Cambodia travel packages
Collectively, the complex consists of more than a hundred temples built of solid bricks, laterite and sandstone and from the remains. It is understood that several successions of kings have maintained this site as their capital, each time adding more temples and monuments to the capital city.
By observation, there are 52 small and big sanctuaries are in fairly good condition, the other 52 sanctuaries were fallen down and buried into the ground, and then became small hills. The sanctuaries were built of brick and limestone with the decoration of bas-relief on the scenery walls. The foundation of sanctuary was made of laterite, false door, diamond column and the sculptures were made of sandstone. It’s all relatively modest compared to the great Angkorian sites, admittedly, although the sylvan woodland setting and almost total lack of visitors more than compensates.
Sambor Prei Kuk complex are historical sites which attract many tourists to Cambodia.