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Is Beng Mealea Worth a Visit ? Guide to Beng Mealea Temple

Publisher: Rain Proun
Date: March 5, 2024

Discover Beng Mealea Temple Tour, sometimes described as the “Angkor Wat overgrown by jungle.” Unbridled beauty and a memorable journey are ahead. The Beng Mealea Temple sits approximately 70 kilometers from Siem Reap, at an ancient crossroads in the dense Cambodian jungle. It is a remarkable 12th-century ruin shrouded in mystery. It is a wise investment to start this hidden jungle temple with a private Siem Reap tour guide After decades of neglect and hiding, rediscovers uncovered Beng Mealea in the late 19th century, turning it into an enticing destination for adventurous travelers to explore. Beng Mealea’s rediscovery began with an attempt to understand its historical and architectural significance as a representation of ancient Khmer buildings. Many tourists overlook this exceptional temple and its surroundings while flocking to admire the reconstructed grandeur of Angkor Wat, but it offers a unique and adventurous experience for those wishing to evoke their inner Indiana Jones—it truly embodies the essence of a jungle temple! This article will explore the mysteries of the temple, provide information on how to reach it, and highlight the advantages of hiring a private tour guide to enhance your visit. Experienced Angkor Wat tour guides specialize in tailoring itineraries for individual visitors and small groups. For more details, contact them directly.

Traveling from Siem Reap to Beng Mealea:

Beng Mealea sits about 40 miles east of the main Angkor Wat complex, making it a less-traveled route. To access the temple, visitors have the option of renting a tuk-tuk, a private taxi, or joining a guided tour. For a more in-depth and tailored experience, it is advisable to hire a proficient private guide. The journey usually takes 1 to 2 hours, depending on the starting point, either Siem Reap or the Angkor complex, and involves passing through the scenic Cambodian countryside and villages. A private guide offers both useful local insights and the flexibility to make stops during the journey. When visiting Beng Mealea, wear durable footwear and comfortable attire due to the need to navigate uneven terrain and descend the temple’s complex and occasionally dim corridors.

It is worth exploring the Beng Mealea Temple:

beng mealea temple tour
beng mealea temple tour
  • Beng Mealea distinguishes itself from other temples because of its partially collapsed appearance and surrounding bush. The pathway to the temple is bizarre, guiding you over elegantly scattered stones, suggesting a unique experience awaits. Before your visit, it is advisable to view the remarkable 3D reconstructions showcasing the size and magnificence of this temple paradise.
  • The sanctuary’s partial collapse may elicit grief and prompt thoughts of the awe that the first explorers who encountered this deteriorating yet magnificent structure felt. Beng Mealea replicates Angkor Wat’s layout, featuring a central shrine encircled by a large moat and connected galleries. The area is now in a state of disrepair and covered with vegetation, all linked via intricate, extensive, and hitherto concealed pathways. While exploring, one can practically hear the sounds of the souls from a thousand years ago reverberating in the temple’s underground corridors, creating a disturbing atmosphere.
  • The temple towers fell due to the infiltration of extensive tree roots that intertwined and penetrated the temple’s framework. The setting resembles a contemporary adventure film, where you may physically touch walls and tree components to maintain your balance while admiring the temple’s elaborate sculptures.
  • Great Reviews fro real travelers for highly recommend to visit this temple.

Beng Mealea  History Temple:

beng mealea temple
beng mealea temple

In the 12th century, builders constructed Beng Mealea, also known as “Lotus Pond.” King Suryavarman II, the same monarch who completed Angkor Wat, is believed to have built it during his reign. Apsara reliefs in the ancient temple indicate their origin during the Khmer Empire era. Finely carved motifs depicting “the churning of the oceans” and 5 and 7-headed nagas (serpents) adorned the structure, indicating that it honored the Hindu god Vishnu.

This architectural wonder also symbolizes the shift of religious dominance from Hinduism to Buddhism under the Khmer Empire. The temple represents both Hinduism and Buddhism, reflecting the ongoing religious reform during that period. Beng Mealea is a historical site that reveals Cambodia’s religious and cultural past. It is believed to have functioned as a religious and ceremonial hub during the Khmer Empire. As the Empire began to deteriorate, the powerful temples and towns also started to disintegrate for reasons that remained unexplained. Nature then took back these architectural marvels, encircling them once more in the thick jungle vegetation.

Centuries later, French archaeologists unearthed it, revealing a captivating blend of nature and architecture for us to explore now.

Environmental Conservation Awareness

Visitors must engage in responsible tourism when visiting religious and historically significant areas, particularly around the ancient temples of Angkor. Even by modern standards, Beng Mealea occupies a secluded and challenging position. Efforts to safeguard, maintain, and eventually revive this exceptional temple continue. Visitors who have had the privilege of visiting it recognize it as a gem. Local government and international organizations are involved in supporting this continuous initiative. To participate in this important preservation process, please adhere to the specified pathways within the temple. Preserving what is left ensures it can be reconstructed and repaired for future generations.

Explore the Beng Mealea Tour:

visit beng mealea temple
visit beng mealea temple
  • When visiting Cambodian temples and holy sites, cover your shoulders and knees at all times to maintain a polite appearance. Be cautious of the challenging terrain at Beng Mealea, and ensure that you wear durable and comfortable footwear. Due to high temperatures, it is important to bring sunscreen, water, and a hat.
  • Guided Tours: Enhance your exploration of this temple by hiring a local guide who may provide unique insights into the temple’s mysteries and history. Your guide will arrange transportation and make stops as needed when traveling outside of Siem Reap. Optimal timing: Plan to visit during the early morning or late afternoon to evade crowds and the midday heat.
  • The soft sunshine enhances the temple’s ambiance, causing the detailed carvings to be more prominent against the jungle’s shade. Photography: Remember to bring your camera! Beng Mealea provides an exceptional photo opportunity for avid photographers. In a stunning natural setting, the sunlight creates intriguing scenes of ancient stone structures and beautiful carvings among the trees.
  • Highly recommend starting tour 3 days Angkor wat tour to cover the other major Angkor complex. The other temples have their unique style if you love historical sites, you will not regret your first visit here.

Conclusion

Beng Mealea Temple’s mysterious appeal should be a top priority on your list of temples to visit in Cambodia. The structure serves as a tribute to the impressive architecture of the ancient Khmer civilization and their precise workmanship. It also provides a glimpse into the past, when ambitious rulers turned their elaborate plans into reality. The dramatic setting will immerse you in an era when the initial explorers saw these mystical remains, a remarkable depiction of an ancient Eastern civilization. Experience a day as Indiana Jones explores the treasures of Beng Mealea, embarking on a unique adventure and exciting discovery!

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