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An experience we will never forget
March 24, 2012

Neak Pean


Neak Pean (literally "The entwined serpents") is a Buddhist temple built on an artificial island during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. It is the "Mebon" of the Preah Khan Baray.


Some historians believe that Neak Pean represents Anavatapta, a mythical lake in the Himalayas whose waters are thought to cure all illness. Neak Pean was originally designed for medical purposes, as it is one of the many hospitals that Jayavarman VII built. It is based on the ancient Hindu belief of balance. Four connected pools represent Water, Earth, Fire and Wind. The ancients believed that going into these pools would balance the elements in the bather, thus curing disease. In the middle of the four healing ponds is the central water source. There is a statue of Balaha (Bodhisattva Guanyin transformed into a horse), as a symbol of drowning prevention.
 

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