Kbal Spean (meaning Bridge Head) is a consecrated archaeological site nearby the famously mind-blowing Angkor in Siem Reap. It is also called the River of 1000 Lingas due to the fact that the rocks were carved with a thousand of the linga symbols of the 11th-13th centuries, which are surely worth exploring.
Kbal Spean – The Unique River of 1000 Lingas
This holy river site is around 50km to the northeast of Siem Reap, and 25km from the major Angkor temples of the Archaeological Park. Kbal Spean belongs to the Angkorian era which appears mysterious, revered, and engaging to the archaeologists and explorers worldwide. Geologically, this river is located on the southwest slopes of Kulen Hills which are deep in the jungle. The river itself is 150m long and filled with the religious rock carvings. There, the visitors will be impressed at a large number of Lingas and sculptures of the Hindu Gods scattered throughout the site. Also, the waterfall makes the whole area very scenic.
With the mysterious and magical look, Kbal Spean 1000 Lingas River delivers the unique spectacle of the carved riverbed in the foothills of the primitive jungles. The first time that you see the carvings on the rocks, you will marvel how the ancestors can create such the intricate scenarios. The carvings of the phallic symbols of fertility, the Hindu Gods, the animals (frogs and cows), and various Hindu mythological motifs alongside the waterfall make this place the unique and untouched attraction in Siem Reap that you should always not ignore.
The Quick History of Kbal Spean
The carvings on the river started under the reign of King Suryavarman I and completed under the reign of King Udayadityavarman II, during the 11th-12th centuries. Within the 1000 Lingas, they were created during the 11th century by the local hermit according to the orders of King Suryavarman I. The other sculptures were finished by the 12th century. According to the local belief, the Siem Reap River flew into the Angkor heritages was blessed by the holy carvings in this area. The first exploration of this attraction was in 1969 by an ethnologist named Jean Boulbet, but any further research was stopped because of the Cambodian Civil War. Until 1989, the site was rediscovered and regained prominence.
Tour to Kbal Spean
The travel to Kbal Spean has been operated for anybody who intends to spend days in the famous Siem Reap and the magnificent Angkor Wat. The visitors might first arrive at the River of 1000 Lingas and then head toward the city. To reach the sacred river, you need to take a jungle trek through the scenic landscape. And then, the intricate spectacle of various unexplained rock formations, steamy forests, and Hindu mythological symbols strikes the eyes. The scenic trails make the trip toward the religiously carved riverbed full of sightseeing opportunities and nature-friendly experiences.
The best time to visit Kbal Spean is from July to December when the river is in its best shape. In the other times of the year, the water dries up quickly so the scenery might not be as beautiful as it is. Note that the access to the tracking trail becomes prohibited after 3:30 PM. You can also find the food and drinks at the base of the trail. Often, it is the 30-minute trekking to see the ancient sculptures appearing in the riverbed. Tour to Kbal Spean is also operated by Indochina Tour Cambodia.
The untouched, sacred, and mysterious atmosphere made by the carvings, the riverbed, the waterfall, and the jungle makes this Cambodia trekking tour to Kbal Spean unforgettable. The time when you set foot on the natural sandstone bridge toward the carved riverbed, you step into the mythical archaeological site left by the Angkorian-era ancestors. This is surely the peerless and not-to-miss attraction.
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