Preah Khan Temple

 

PREAH KHAN TEMPLE

Preah Khan temple(Khmer: ប្រាសាទព្រះខ័ន)something transliteratd as Peah Khanis a temple at Angkor ,Cambodia,build in the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII.It is located northeast of Angkor Thom and just west of the Jayatataka Baray.with which it was associated.It was the center of a subastatial organisation, with almost 100,000 officials and servants.The temple is flat in design,with a basic plan of successive rectangular garlleries around a Buddhist sanctury complicated by Hindu satellite temples and numerous later additions.Like the nearly Ta Prohm,Preah Khan has been left largely unrertored,with numerous trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins.Preah Khan was built on the site of Jayavarman VII's victory over the invading Chas in 1191.Unusually the modern mane,meaning"holy sword" is derived from the meaning of the original-Nagara Jayasri(holy city of victory)the site may previously have been occupied by the royal palaces of Yasovarman II and Tribhuvanadityaavarman.The temple's foundation stela has provided considerable information about the history and administration of the site:the main image of the bodhisattva Avalokite"7,vara in the form of the King's father,was dedicated in 1191(the king's mother had earlier been commemorated in the same way at Ta Prohm).430 other dities also had shrines on the site,each of which received an allotment of food,clothing,perfume and even mossquito nets,the temple's wealth included gold,silver, gems,112,300 pearls and cow with gilded horns.The institution combined the roles of city temple and Buddhist university:there were 97,840 attendants and servants,including 1000 dancers and 1000 teachers.

The temple is still largely unrestored the initial clearing was from 1927 to 1932 and partial anastylosis was carried out in 1939.Since then free-standing statues have been removed for safe-keeping and there has been further consolidation and restoration work.Throughout,the conservators have attempted to balance restoration and maintenance of the wild condition in which the temple was discoverd one of them Maurice Glaize wrote that.

The temple was previously overrun with a particularly voracious vegetation and quite ruined presenting only chaos.Clearing works were indertaken withe a constant respect for the large trees which give the compsition a pleasing presentation without constituting any immediate danger.At the same time some partial anastylosis has revived various building found in a sufficien state of preservation and presenting some special interest in their architecture or deoration.

Since 1991 the site has been maintained by the world Monuments fund.It has continued the cautious approach to restoration believing that to go further woould involve too much guesswork,and prefers to respect the ruined nature of the temple.One of its former employees has said"we're basically running a glorified maintenance program.We're not prepared to falsity history" it has therefor ilmited itself prmarily to stabili.