Overview of Baksei Chamkrong Temple
Baksei Chamkrong is a small Hindu temple located in the Angkor complex (Siem Reap, Cambodia). It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and used to hold a golden image of him. The temple can be seen on the left side when entering Angkor Thom at the southern gate. It was dedicated to Yasovarman by his son, King Harshavarman I. The temple was completed by Rajendravarman II (944-968).
The name Baksei Chamkrong means "The Bird Who Shelters Under Its Wings" and comes from a legend. In it, the king tried to flee Angkor during a siege and then a huge bird landed and sheltered him under its wings.
This temple is one of the first temples constructed of durable material such as bricks and laterite and with decoration in sandstone. Much of the stucco on the surface of the temple has vanished. The main sandstone lintel is decorated with a fine carving of Indra standing on his three-headed elephant Airavata. Garlands emanate from either side of Indra in the style current to the monument. There is an inscription on either side of the small doorway.
A towering 12-meter tall brick and laterite step-pyramid. Harshavarman I began construction or perhaps dedicated statues at the site in the early 10th century. It was later improved/restored by Rajendravarman II shortly after the capital was returned to Angkor from Koh Ker. According to inscriptions on the doorway, Rajendravarman II consecrated the temple with the installation of a golden Shiva image in 947AD. It may have also served as a funerary temple. Combine with a visit to the South Gate in the morning or Phnom Bakheng in the evening. Lighting is best in the morning.