Phnom Bakheng , Cambodia
Phnom Bakheng at Angkor , is a Hindu and Buddhist temple in the form of a temple mountain. Dedicated to Shiva, it was built at the end of the 9th century, during the reign of King Yasovarman (889-910).
Located atop a hill, it is nowadays a popular tourist spot for sunset views of the much bigger temple Angkor Wat, which lies amid the jungle about 1.5 km to the southeast. The large number of visitors makes Phnom Bakheng one of the most threatened monuments of Angkor .
Constructed more than two centuries before Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng was in its day the principal temple of the Angkor region, historians believe. It was the architectural centerpiece of a new capital, Yasodharapura, that Yasovarman built when he moved the court from the capital Hariharalaya in the Roluos area located to the southeast .
Phnom Bakheng is a symbolic representation of Mount Meru, home of the Hindu gods, a status emphasized by the temple’s location atop a steep hill. The temple faces east, measures 76 meters square at its base and is built in a pyramid form of six tiers. At the top level, five sandstone sanctuaries, in various states of repair, stand in a quincunx pattern one in the center and one at each corner of the level’s square. Originally, 108 small towers were arrayed around the temple at ground level and on various of its tiers; most of them have collapsed .
Later in its history, Phnom Bakheng was converted into a Buddhist temple. A monumental Sitting Buddha, now lost, was created on its upper tier. Across its west side, a Reclining Buddha of similar scale was crafted in stone. The outlines of this figure are still visible .
there will be alot of tourists at the top , there's limited capacity at the top, if you go too late like me , you will have to join a very long queue with more than one hour waiting in the Queue and you still do not get to go up because if no one comes down , But we really could not understand how Angkor Wat could be seen from there as even we climbed up for almost 20 minutes, we haven't had a chance to see Angkor Wat and sunset. Sunset might be nice, but I don't think that it is so spectacular as, for example, there is no lake which you can see sunset on a lake. And maybe because it was dry season, the weather was cloudy and we didn't have a chance to observe it. So, i think if you have time, it might be nice to give a try but definitely it is not in my have-to do list.