Thursday, October 9, 2008

More from Han Chey

The brick temple of Prasat Han Chey
Wherever you are on top of Phnom Han Chey you are never far from a ruined prasat dating from the 7th or 8th centuries. The main brick-built Prasat Han Chey lies adjacent to the main vihara, facing east and still showing signs of its original stucco covering, which would've been gloriously carved in its heyday. There are inscriptions on both inward-facing sides of the only doorway and for many years, these were believed to be the earliest inscriptions in Cambodia. They described the King, Bhavavarman II, his son, famous persons and erection of a linga, 35 lines in Sanskrit text, on the left looking out, and twelves lines on the right side. The original lintel is long gone, there's a motley collection of heads and bits of carved stone inside and the remains of a somasuta on the outside wall. This pre-Angkorean brick temple from the Chenla era is complemented by the rare sandstone cella on the other side of the main vihara as well as a basalt-built prasat called Kuk Preah Theat at the foot of the hill, next to the Mekong River. Phnom Han Chey is well worth a visit, the road is good from Kompong Cham and the people are ultra-friendly.
35 lines of Sanskrit text on the doorway of Prasat Han Chey
The doorway into Prasat Han Chey
Detail of the Sanskrit lettering found on the doorway, praising the King
A few heads, a pedestal and other bits of carved stone inside the prasat
The fine workmanship on display inside the top half of Prasat Han Chey
Few traces of the original stucco carving remains in situ
A side view of Prasat Han Chey, near Kompong Cham


OpenID alisonincambodia said...

I've been enjoying these posts Andy! I remember now Dougald was telling me about this place because it is quite similar to Ashram Maha Rosei down near Angkor Borei. Although it seems like Kuk Preah Theat has more carvings. Very cool!

October 10, 2008 10:14 AM  

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