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Wat Prasat Banon

 

Exactly 368 steps to climb. Not far from Battambang, on the banks of the river Sangkaa two rectangular pond flank the long the path leads to the foot of Phnom Banon. A staircase and an elegant terrace decorated with ancient stone lions and Naga heads have been built. The vendors of refreshments installed nearby. This explains that "the site is well visited because the three towers proudly rise to the top of the hill are irresistibly think of Angkor Wat".

During the ascent, we see traces of dressing limonite blocks that once covered the slopes of the hill. At the top, old frangipani trees, the fresh wind that constantly blows and the view of the rural landscape of the province of Battambang contribute to the undeniable charm.

The temple was surrounded by a gallery with four corner towers that have disappeared. Built at the cardinal points, four towers act as Gopura and allow entering. The five floors of the imposing central sanctuary sandstone are richly decorated with sculptures but artists have not completed the fake windows that decorate the front building. Inside are placed Buddhas and an inscription. "Until 1993, said the guard, a gun was installed at the top. It was during this troubled time that the heads of Apsaras and almost all the decorations were removed chisel. "He also emphasizes that" to climb the stairs without incident, it is prudent to ask permission with three sticks of incense at spirit of LokTa DombongDeak who lives here. "Behind the temple, under a small umbrella, is the statue of the Yey TEP "that prepares his food." "The temple was built by a king in the late eleventh or early twelfth century. His Gopura and the central sanctuary then each matched to a specific place: the hill, the village, and the market and pagodas BanonBanonBanonKraom and Loeu "The BanonWatLeu is south-east of Phnom.  It still houses a very old Wat worth visiting. "Before going to war, the king had first pray and then came back to thank for his victory. So it was a temple for warriors then called Babon, Ba 'men' and Bon 'make vows'.

The PrasatBanon: Its name has evolved into Banon because the sound Non come from the word Lear Bomnon which means "thank for something that was asked by praying "". According to the legend, one day, one of many king’s wife curiously gave birth to an egg which was thrown into the sea and floated into Thailand. A child was born and the couple who adopted him called NénRoong. Entered the pagoda, he studied so hard and became a sage and even knew with his magic word, transforming the living beings to a stone. His fame reached Cambodia where the king ordered his General to get him. Before leaving, the general stopped at Banon temple to pray for success in his company then went into a cave and dug its way to Thailand, where he emerged from the ground just before NénRoong. Frightened by the sudden appearance, He shouted 'Stay there!' And so transformed the unfortunate general to stone. The soldiers returned to Cambodia without the monk nor their leader, far too heavy to be carried. "On site, track runs along the south of phnom and leads to a house where a kid will offer to visit the caves. The first is called “PreahKouhéaToeuk” the cave of the sacred water" because water falling from the stalactites cures many diseases. The name of the second, LoeuhaingBeutMeas, 'cave hiddengold' it recall the misadventures of old Dong who dreamed of using gold rich wife to marry a girl. Guessing the designs of her husband, his wife hid gold in the cave.

 

PRASAT BANON in Battambang, on the banks of the Sangkaè river