Preah Palilay

Siem Reap, Cambodia

Preah Palilay

Preah Palilay (Khmer: ប្រាសាទព្រះបាលិលេយ្យ, Prasat Preăh Palĭlai [praːsaːt prĕəh paːlilaj]) is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia. It is located in Angkor Thom, 400 m north-west of Phimeanakas. This small Buddhist sanctuary in the wooded area north of the Royal palace in Angkor Thom has a number of attractive features and is well worth the short detour.

The coexistence of Hindu and Buddhist elements and lacking of foundation stele or inscriptions make somewhat difficult dating this temple. It is generally ascribed to Jayavarman VIII reign, but it seems difficult to explain how the Buddhist imagery could have survived from the iconoclast fury of that epoch. Maybe it was built in different periods: the sanctuary in the first half of 12th century, while the gopura in the late 13th or early 14th century. Chinese art historian William Willetts (1918–1995) believed that it dated from the time of Suryavarman II (1113–1149). The temple was cleaned by Henri Marchal in 1918–19, while the gopura was restored by anastylosis by Maurice Glaize in 1937–38.

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