Phnom Kulen

Kulen Waterfall

Phnom Kulen is in Svay Leu and Varin districts, about 60 kilometers from Siem Reap provincial town and 25 kilometers from Banteay Srei. Phnom Kulen, originally called Mount Mahendraparvata, is the holy mountain where, when King Jayavarman II59 (AD 802-850) proclaimed independence from Java in 802, the Angkorian Empire was born.

This mountain plateau served as the capital of the first Khmer Empire for more than half a century before it relocated south to Hariharalaya, known today as Roluos. As many as 20 minor temples are found around the plateau, including Rorng Chen temple, the first pyramid built by an Angkorian King, but many of them are difficult to reach. Numerous important sites lie scattered across the mountaintop, which is accessible by foot or by car. 

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