Very little visited
What we say:
Decorated with scenes from Buddha's life and set among a cluster of tall shade trees, Preah Palilay is one of the more underrated sites within Angkor Thom and contains a mix of Buddhist and Hingu imagery.
The site is believed to take its name from Parilyyaka — a forest that features in the stories of Buddha. This theory is supported by the range of Buddhist carvings at the site, including one of Buddha calming an enraged elephant and another depicting the offering of forest animals like monkeys, elephants and birds.
Thought to date back to the reign of Jayavarman VII, Preah Palilay remains a bit of a mystery. With its wealth of Buddhist iconography, it's considered highly unusual that the site survived the period that followed the death of Jayavarman VII. Instigated by his Hindu successor, Jayavarman VIII, a programme of sanctioned vandalism saw the destruction of many Buddhist icons throughout Angkor, yet Preah Palilay remained largely untouched.
Surrounded by towering trees and nearly always devoid of other visitors, this is a pleasant spot to wander through either before or after Tep Pranam, which sits just a short walk away to the south.
More detailsAbout 200m to the northwest of Tep Pranam
Last updated: 27th December, 2009
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