Phnom Bakheng - the Temple on the Hill & One of Sam's Exotic Travels
As the State temple of the first city of Angkor, Phnom Bakheng has a special importance, even though may of its buildings are in poor condition. It was here that Yasovarman I moved his capital from Roduos, 13 k southeast of Siem Reap. The city, called Yasodharapura, was a 4 km square (larger than the later Angkor Thom) and enclosed by an earthen bank. It was centered on the isolated hill of Phnom Bakheng. With some important differences, Bakheng imitates the temple of Bakong at Roluos, built some two decades earlier – a pyramid of ascending square terraces surrounded by subsidiary sanctuary towers. Work began at the end of the the 9th century, the linga of the central shrine was dedicated in about 907, but building continued after that. The name of the divinity and of the temple was Yasodharesvara – “the Lord of (the one) Who Bears Glory”. It was abandoned after 928, but briefly rehabilitated in about 968 by Jayavarman V.
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