River of a thousand linga
What we say:
Along with Phnom Kulen, Kbal Spean is regarded as an auspicious location as it is from this hill that Kbal Spean river flows down to join the larger Siem Reap river.
Before it leaves the hill though, the water is blessed by flowing over some 100m of sacred linga and Hindu deities that have been carved into its bedrock riverbed. Vishnu, Shiva and Brahma are all in attendance, and the Sanskrit name, Sahasralinga, or "river of a thousand lingas", gives a hint of the linga abundance going on (though there's not actually a thousand).
Best at the tail-end of the monsoon (October to December), Kbal Spean is well worth a visit, both for the intricate carvings and the very pleasing, verdant jungle setting. A medium-sized waterfall and a couple of small swimming holes nearby can be used if you feel you're in need of a bit of blessing yourself.
Located around 50km northeast of Siem Reap, the site is reached via a 1.5km trail that winds up from the car park to the riverbed. Your moto will expect extra payment to bring you here — be sure to agree on a price beforehand.
More details50km northeast of Siem Reap
Last updated: 27th December, 2009
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