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Temple Watch: Banteay Chhmar


The huge temple site of Banteay Chhmar 70 kilometres from Sisophon, has Bayon-style towers and bas reliefs, including a magnificent and unique 32-armed Vishnu. The temple has been getting more attention from restoration teams lately. The Global Heritage Fund, based in California, is sponsoring a five-year restoration by the South Asian Conservation & Restoration Agency. The intention is to preserve Banteay Chhmar as a partial ruin with safer access for visitors, as well as benefit the local community by improving water access, supporting village home stays, food facilities and tourism development. The renovation of the eastern walls has become more extensive and progress has been made in rebuilding the walls with their impressive bas reliefs. New excavations have exposed part of the eastern terrace. Trees have been planted along the approach, and a small parking area can now take two vehicles! With only 100 visitors a month in peak season and improved road links, it's a great place for a day out without crowds. Within the village lies the single tower of Ta Prohm, and this moated temple has a classic four-faced tower. There has been extensive work here too, clearing vegetation.



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