Mr. B’s Temple O’ The Week: Beng Mealea
Come rain or shine Mr. B is still out and about filming himself with bits of stone in far-flung fields.
This week he’s at Beng Mealea “lotus pond” which, according to Wikipedia, is a temple from the Angkor Wat period located 40 km east of the main group of temples at Angkor, on the ancient royal highway to Preah Khan Kompong Svay.
Beng Mealea was built as a Hindu temple, but some carvings depict Buddhist motifs. Its primary material is sandstone and it is largely unrestored, with trees and thick brush thriving amidst its towers and courtyards and many of its stones lying in great heaps. For years it was difficult to reach, but a road recently built to the temple complex of Koh Ker passes Beng Mealea and more visitors are coming to the site, as it is 77 km from Siem Reap by road.
The history of the temple is unknown and it can be dated only by its architectural style, identical to Angkor Wat, so scholars assumed it was built during the reign of king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century. Smaller in size than Angkor Wat, the king’s main monument, Beng Mealea nonetheless ranks among the Khmer empire’s larger temples: the gallery which forms the outer enclosure of the temple is 181 m by 152 m. It was the center of a town, surrounded by a moat 1025 m by 875 m large and 45 m wide.
Sit back and enjoy or very own Paul Daniels-meets-Richard Quest-meets-David Starkey as he wanders around, talking about things.