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Preah Palilay Angkor

  • It is a temple 400 metre north-west of Phimeanakas at Angkor.

History

  • It is somewhat difficult dating this temple because of lack of inscriptions or foundation and the existence of Buddhist and Hindu elements. It’s generally attributed to Jayavarman VIII reign, however it is difficult to describe how the Buddhist images might have survived from the radical ferocity of that era. It might have been built in different periods. Cleaning of the temple was carried out by Henri Marchal in 1918-19.

Description

  • The temple has a terrace, 30 metres by 8.5 metres, with naga balaustrades, on the east. A 33 metre long walkway links it to the sole sandstone gopura. There is a shrine before the 50 metre square laterite enclosure with a 3 metre tall statue of Buddha.
  • The gopura has 3 entrances, the pediment facing east of the northern entrances displays "the offering of the animals in the forest of Parilyyaka", the place where the Buddha fled after departing from Kosambi. It appears that the cause of naming Pralilay might have been the modification of the name Parilyyaka. Other pediments demonstrate other pictures from the life of the Buddha.
  • The sandstone sanctuary is on a 6 metre high three-tiered basement. It consists of a 5 metre square middle chamber which opens to 4 principal points with as many lobbies. Unfortunately their traditional embellishments ruined, suggesting that the sanctuary is older than the gopura. Even the typical tower similar to chimney which stands above appears to have been added later.
  • For safe-keeping, pediments’ some parts have been removed, others are on the ground.
  • Presently there’s a little Buddhist monastery around the temple and the existence of the monks in its area is common.