Angkor Temples – Beng Melea a.k.a. Jungle Temple

The last temple we visited was Beng Melea. There is very little information about this far removed temple. Apparently, it was built originally as a Hindu temple but there are also Buddhist carvings depicted. And because its architectural style is very similar to Angkor Wat, scholars assume it is built around the same time period but there are no records to support this. Our guide tells us that it was a temple built as a final resting place for the king but that he had the temple destroyed after his death so that others could not use it. Another interesting theory without any supportive record.

Of all the temples we visited, Beng Melea is the only one not yet part of the UNESCO World Heritage list. As such, it is not as well restored and supported. The chance to climb over untouched ruins is the main draw though for most of the visitors that make the 77 km journey from Siem Reap to visit it. It is the real deal as far as temple ruins go.

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Entrance to the temple. No longer accessible.

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Trying to find the way in

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My biggest kid

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At the top of a doorway to one of the temple sanctuary towers.

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Temple ruins make the best playgrounds

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Believed to be the coffin of the king. It was just out in the middle of the courtyard. Without our guide, we wouldn’t have even noticed it.

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Making our own path through the temple

 

The rest of the photos are a reflection of the current state of Beng Melea. How long will it remain in this unrestored state no one knows. For now, it’s a quieter place to explore at your own pace.

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