Angkor Archeological Park

Preah Khan Temple

Explore the heart of the Khmer ancestral empire

     In the late 12th century (the main divinity of the Temple was dedicated in 1191), Preah Khan (or “Sacred Sword”) was a considerable city as well as a Buddhist university. Today, it is a temple that invites visitors to meander slowly through and admire the architecture, decoration, the famous Hall of Dancers and, of course, the giant “fromagers”. There are several interesting pediments, carvings and structures which tourists should not miss, such as pediment of God Vishnu reclining on the snake Ananta, Garudas on fourth enclosure wall and two-storey structure with round column.


     In 1191 AD, ten years after his ascension to the throne, Jayavarman VII dedicated the temple of Preah Khan to his father Dharanindra, who is represented in the central sanctuary by Lokesvara, the savior god of Mahayana Buddhism who was much worshipped during Jayavarman VII’s reign.

Preah Khan is one of the few monuments to have kept its original name. The founding stele is written entirely in Sanskrit with the name of the temple expressed as Jayacri. During the Middle Period, a stupa (see photograph) was erected in place of Lokesvara in the central sanctuary. This had the advantage of symbolising Buddhism in all its forms.

The name Jayacri or Preah Khan means “sacred sword” which was at the same time the coronation name of its royal constructor.

More than a single temple , the monument was in its time a real city with a whole population divided according to their functions. The temple was also a site of Buddhist studies with its retinue of spiritual masters and their disciples.

Discover all the current projects happening in Preah Khan Temple

Info and tips for visitor

Date :

End of the 12th century



Opening hours

7:30 am to 5:30 pm


Jayavarman VII




1h ½ to 2 hours

Click to take a tour of the photo gallery of Pre Rup Temple