Baphuon Temple: A Jewel of Angkor’s Heritage

Baphuon, a significant temple of the Angkor Wat complex, stands as a testament to Cambodia’s rich history. Located in the ancient city of Angkor, near Siem Reap, this temple predates Angkor Wat, marking an important era in Khmer architecture.


Historical Significance

Constructed in the 11th century under King Udayadityavarman II, Baphuon was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. It symbolizes the peak of Baphuon style architecture, characterized by its elaborate carvings and towering pyramidal structure. Originally, the temple served as the state temple of the capital, showcasing the religious and political power of the Khmer Empire.


Architectural Marvel

Baphuon underwent a massive restoration process that lasted several decades, finally reopening to the public in 2011. This restoration highlighted its three-tiered temple mountain design, meant to represent Mount Meru, the center of the universe in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. The temple features a long causeway leading up to its towering facade, adorned with intricate carvings that depict scenes from mythology and daily life in the Angkor period.


The Reclining Buddha

An interesting aspect of Baphuon is the addition of a large reclining Buddha on the west side, dating back to the 15th century when the temple was converted into a Buddhist temple. This addition is a significant representation of the religious transition from Hinduism to Buddhism in Cambodia’s history.

Reclining Buddha

Visiting Baphuon

For travelers, Baphuon offers a unique glimpse into the grandeur of Angkor’s architectural prowess. It is less crowded than Angkor Wat, allowing for a more serene exploration. Visitors should note that the climb to the top offers breathtaking views but involves steep stairs. This is a common feature in ancient Khmer architecture. It intended to symbolize the difficulty of reaching the heavens.


Many Angkor Wat tours visit Baphuon. For a list of tours, please click here. Theis a list of temples in the details of each tour.



One response to “Baphuon”

  1. […] circuit includes Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng, Angkor Thom, South Gate, Angkor Thom, Baphuon, Phimeanakas, Terrace of the Leper King, Terrace of the Elephants, Victory Gate, Ta Keo, Ta Prohm, […]