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Mangalartha Temple

Mangalartha Temple

Updated: 2017-05-28 06:17:36

It is located in Angkor Thom, south of Victory Way, at the end of a track in the jungle which begins some 300 m before the Victory Gate. As it consists of a small ruined shrine on a basement, overgrown with vegetation, it is one of less visited temples of Angkor.

It was dedicated on 28 April 1295 CE, according to its four sided inscribed stele, and its importance is all about being the last of the known Angkor monuments dated with precision.

It was built in sandstone during the reign of Jayavarman VIII, in honour of a Brahmin scholar called Mangalartha, assimilated to Vishnu. It's cruciform in plan and opens to east, while on the other cardinal points there are false doors. The sanctuary chamber sheltered two statues, one of Mangalartha and the other of his mother, whose pedestal is still in place. The pediments lie on the ground. They show Vishnu reclining on Shesha, the three strides of Vishnu to regain the World, a Shiva dancing with four arms and Krishna lifting Mount Govardhana.

This is a small single-shrined, sandstone temple set in dense forest.
While it's an attractive setting, the temple isn't spectacular albeit with some decent carvings lying around. Its importance lies in it being, with the exception of upgrades to some of the Preah Pithu group, one of the last stone temples to be built at Angkor. 

If you want a bit of peace and quiet and fancy a stroll in the woods, wander down to the well preserved but rarely visited east gate (Death Gate) and take in Mangalartha on the way!

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