Sok Sabay Phnom Kulen
Shared By: Precious Margarette
Sok Sabay Phnom Kulen! Finally, there you are!
These are my own exact words that brought a smile to our Tour Guide Heng when we are about to climb Siem Reap’s famous Phnom Kulen. Just in case you are wondering, Sok Sabay means Hello, while Phnom Kulen means Kulen Mountain.
Cambodia, particularly Siem Reap, is rich in history. I’ve read many stories about the Kulen Mountain but never had any chance of visiting them up close in person. Today, I will find it out myself.
Facts About Kulen Mountain
Preah Cheyvaraman-Norodom Phnom Kulen National Park
Phnom Kulen = Mountain of Lychees
373.76 km2 or 37, 376 hectares
The highest point at 487 m or 1,598 feet
Very popular for both locals and foreigners
Sandstone, small mountain range, a plateau of moderate height
48 km from Siem Reap Town
- This mountain is associated with Hinduism and Buddhism and was considered a holy mountain in Cambodia.
- According to Angkorian scholars, Udayadityavarman II commissioned a lot of construction projects, which includes the establishment of the Thousand Lingas at Kbal Spean, and other residential communities on Kulen Mountain.
Supplier of Fresh Water to the Farmers
- Yes, the Kulen Mountain served a vital role then and until now for water irrigation in Siem Reap.
- In 1936, Philippe Stern, a famous Art Historian, visited the Kulen Mountain together with other French scholars and compiled a report pointing the historical relevance of Phnom Kulen to the Angkorian Empire.
Famous Sites and Attractions
- There are two main waterfalls in Phnom Kulen, the First waterfall: 4-5 meters tall and around 25-meter wide during the rainy seasons.
- While the Second waterfall: 15-20 meters tall and around 15-meter wide during the rainy seasons.
- The size of the waterfalls varies according to the seasons and the rain.
- Also known as “Valley of a Thousand Lingas. It is a famous spot where the majority of its carvings are associated with fertility in Hinduism
- 5 cm under the water’s surface has many figures of Yoni and Linga carved into the rocks of the riverbed.
- Other carvings include a stone representation of the Hindu God Vishnu lying on his serpent Ananta, with his wife Lakshmi at his feet. And a lotus flower protrudes from his navel bearing the God Brahma.
- This site is accessible by an uphill 1.5 km jungle trekking from the car park.
Preah Ang Thom
- A 16th-century Buddhist monastery and it is the home of the country’s largest reclining Buddha reaching Nirvana posed and carved into a huge sandstone boulder with a height of eight meters.
- A large sandstone sculpture of an elephant. Other smaller sculptures dated to the 8th or 9th centuries can be seen within the area. Due to its remote location, this is accessible only by a motorbike, for at least one hour ride from the waterfall.
- An ancient site near to the village of Anlong Thom dated on the time of the. In this place, you will witness the 8th or 9th century-carvings of the Hindu Gods Vishnu, Shiva, Brahma, and Ganesh.
- Located inside of the jungle of the Kulen Mountain, this special site contains rock carvings of Hindu gods, and popularly believed as the favorite meditation spot for Rishis or Hindu Saints.
- A special terrace with a small ruined temple in the middle. According to the Angkorian scholars, the terrace was once covered with lava for hundreds of years.
- A special site in the valley where a steady stream of fresh water is flowing several and Ancient statues dated during the 15th or 16th century can be seen.
About Sok Sabay Phnom Kulen
Final thoughts about Sok Sabay Phnom Kulen
This blog was written for the purpose of sharing basic information about the Kulen Mountain. It does contain some deep stuff that requires deeper explanation, and for that, I will leave it to you for your own exploration.
About the Author
Precious Margarette is an everyday normal woman, working as a grade-school teacher and Mathematics tutor. Aside from cooking, she also loves baking pastries and art sketching on her free time. She is also on Boudoir photography, believing that her photo shoot will not only boost her confidence, but it will also serve as the perfect gift for herself, as a mémoire of her youth.