Boeng Mealea Temple
Beng Mealea literally means “The Pond Of Lotus Flower” and it is another enormously complex with an area of 108 hectares. Although the real name or the precise date of this temple is unknown as no inscription found so far has mentioned it, the art and architecture are stylistically similar to that of Angkor Wat or the workmanship and composition are of the same fine quality. So the historians and archaeologists believed that it was built under the reign of the king Suryavarman II (1113 – 1150). Today, it is in poor condition because of natural elements, the lack of maintenance and vandalism, so visiting this site is an Indiana Jones experience but nearly every tourist who makes an effort to ply (explore) his or her way through the maze of the building emerges with a sense of wonder at the accomplishments of the Khmers in creating this earthly microcosm of the heavenly macrocosm. The temple proper occupies an area of 181m x 152m and its layout combines the temple mountain theme of the early and middle periods of Khmer art with the ground level plan adopted in the 13th century AD by connecting the two architectural concepts with covered galleries, corbelled vaulting, cruciform passages, raised walkways and shrines. It was encircled by a 1025m x 875m and 45 m wide moat which pierced through by four laterite and sandstone causeways with naga balustrades on east-west and north-south axis and the central sanctuary by the three concentric galleries or long halls and four libraries situated in between the courtyards of the temple proper. Whichever way as you wander amongst the ruins, keep in mind that you are progressing from the world of man to that of gods and moving to an increasing more spiritual plane