Saturday, May 25, 2024

Angkor Archeological Park

Neak Pean

Explore the heart of the Khmer ancestral empire

     Neak Pean was built under Jayavarman VII, it is located at the center of the reservoir the Northern Baray, Jayatataka, dry until 2011, the year the Authorities started to refill it. Two “coiled serpent” framing the central tower and explain the name of the monument. This site’s cruciform layout symbolizes a miraculous lake in the Himalayas. The lake is famous for the curative powers of its water as well as for being the source of four great rivers flowing from the mouths of a lion, an elephant, a horse and a bull.


     Built by Jayavarman VII before the end of the 12th century, this monument – Neak Poan or the entwined naga – is an artificial island, measuring 350 meters on each side, built in the middle of a reservoir which is also man made. The modern name, Neak Poan, comes from the motif of serpents encircling the base of the central sanctuary.

An inscription notes that it is “a sacred island, drawing its charm from its ponds and clearing away the sins of those who approach it”. The ponds in question number four. They were fed by a complex system of anthropomorphic and zoomorphic fountains. The mysterious curative function of its waters was all the more so, given that the myth of the deliverance of a group of shipwrecked sailors by the horse Balaha, a form of Lokesvara, is represented here.

The reservoir, which measured 3500 meters by 900 meters, was originally called Jayatataka or “the reservoir of Jaya [varman VII]”. Its modern name is Veal Reach Dak or “plain of the royal reservoir”, revealing the collective historical memory of the inhabitants of Angkor who are aware that its four cornered form originate from a Baray, a royal hydraulic project which today lies dry.

Discover all the current projects happening in Neak Pean Temple

Info and tips for visitor

Date :

End of the 12th century



Opening hours

7:30 am to 5:30 pm


Jayavarman VII




Around 40 minutes

Click to take a tour of the photo gallery of Neak Pean Temple