"Khmer Civilization" Cambodia by suraphona

Cambodia Travel Guide: 8,511 reviews and 23,752 photos

Phnom Kulen The Birth of Angkor

Phnom Kulen is widely regarded as the birthplace of the ancient Khmer empire and is some forty eight kilometers from Siem Reap.

This hilltop site has the country's largest reclining Buddha and it was here that the King Jayavarma II proclaimed independence from Java in 802 A.D.

On this peak in 802 (then known as Mount Mahendraparvata), King Jayavarman II declared himself a Hindu god-king and kicked off the four-century Angkor period of Khmer history that produced the Angkor temples, constructed of Phnom Kulen's sandstone.

After the establishment of Angkor kingdom, Jayavarman II actively waged wars throughout Cambodia and expanded his territory.

He built a temple devoted to god Shiva at Phnom Kulen about 40 km northwest of Tonle Sap.

King Jayavarman II reigned until 834 A.D.; "Jaya" literally means "victorious" and "varman" - "the protector".

  • Last visit to Cambodia: Feb 2005
  • Intro Updated Mar 8, 2005
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