Situated right on the Sisowath Quay in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, near the Royal Palace of Cambodia, the Wat Ounalom is one of the most ancient temples in Cambodia. Thanks to the order of the seat of Cambodia’s Mohanikay, the Wat Ounalom is believed to be the most important wat of Phnom Penh as well as the center of Cambodian Buddhism. Travel Indochina Cambodia
The origin of the Ounalom Pagoda is considered to date back from the 15th Century when the King Ponyea Yat, the last king of the Khmer empire built this temple in 1422.
Constructed in 1442 and includes 44 structures, this temple is one of the five original monasteries in Phnom Penh that were built by the King Ponhea Yat. Although having been damaged during the Khmer Rouge, the Wat Ounalom still proves to be one of the most historical attractions in Cambodia after being restored. The stupa containing what is thought to be an eyebrow hair of Buddha and an inscription in Pali is housed in the main complex making it different from the other temples in the area. Cambodia Discovery
Wat Ounalom is described as the ‘headquarters’ of Cambodian Buddhism. The male head of the tribe, the main pioneer of Cambodia, lives here. The compound of forty four buildings in all, is about 250 metres north of the Royal Palace along Sisowath Quay at the river front.
More than 500 monks reside in this monastery and making it their home and this temple is also considered as a huge library thanks to the capacity of more than 30,000 different titles. Although many of the buildings together with many religious statues and symbols were strongly destroyed during the regime of the Khmer Rouge, the Wat Ounalom is still one of the most long-live temples in Cambodia. The buildings still hold many functions such as the temple itself, the schools, libraries, living quarters and the stupa that the temple was named after; and the stupa holds an Ounalum.