Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Angkor Archeological Park

Kbal Spean

Explore the heart of the Khmer ancestral empire

     Known in English as the River of 1,000 Lingas, Kbal Spean has hundreds of Brahmanist yoni and lingas which have been carved into the stone riverbed of Steung Siem Reap. The river is said to represent the life force which joins the phallic and feminine carvings creating blessed water.

Beautiful walk in a forested area. Visit during the rainy season is recommended.

Do not miss: the river bed carved in shape of lingas, square yonis with five lingas disposed as quincunx. Carving of Vishnu lying on a snake Ananta, with Lakshmi holding the god’s leg and Brahma sitting on lots flower emerging from Vishnu’s navel.

History

The name “Kbal Spean” originated from the locals’ reference to a block of natural rock spanning across a stream to appear like a bridge. The site has become a place of worship for nearly one thousand years already as evidenced by inscriptions and stone carvings from the 11th and 13th centuries. Linga carvings feature prominently on the stream’s bedrock that stretches for about 200 m from the north of Kbal Spean to the waterfall. Water passing through this stretch is perceived to have magical power and a source of prosperity and happiness. Sanskrit inscription refers to this site as “Sahasralinga”, which means one thousand lingas some of which have sculptures of vagina attached to as well. In addition to lingas there are other sculptures such as those of Vishnu lying in the middle of the ocean, Brahma emerging from the Vishnu’s navel through a lotus to create a new world, and many animal carvings, etc.

From Kbal Spean the water splits ways into Russei, Puok, and Siem Reap rivers. Ancient sites like Kbal Spean and Kulen mountain are characterized by “mounds” where hermits retreated into seclusion for religious reasons.

Discover all the current projects happening in Kbal Spean

Info and tips for visitor

Date :

11th century

Style

Baphuoun

Opening hours

7:30 am to 3 pm

Reign

Udayadityavarman II

Religion

Hindu

Tour

1 hour, and 1/2 including climb. Tour to combine with a visit to Banteay Srei or to the nearby Phnom Kulen Hills.

Click to take a tour of the photo gallery of Kbal Spean