Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Temple where 100 virgins said to lie in need of more money

Temple where 100 virgins said to lie in need of more money

Temple where 100 virgins said to lie in need of more money

W HEN an Angkorian king built a temple on this Sambor site in 1529 in memory of his

dead daughter, legend has it that he buried a virgin girl under each one of the 100

columns.

It was originally made of wood, but now local people - with money from Khmers living

as far away as the United States - are rebuilding it in concrete (see above).

The Temple of 100 Columns, at Sampheakboreak Wat on the Sambor riverbank, is one

of the most famous and significant in the country, local people say.

According to the inscription on a nearby stupa, five Khmer kings "and some others"

had chosen this as their final resting place.

King Sihanouk made regular pilgrimages here during the late 1950s and 60s, according

to monks living at the pagoda. They said the King would not decide on many important

matters till he had prayed at Samp-heakboreak.

The King recently returned to Sambor and prayed in the pagoda again. He also gave

$1,000 toward the restoration. The monks here are proud to suggest that this is the

"King's pagoda."

The Khmer Rouge destroyed the original wooden temple in late 1976. They used the

huge columns to build bridges, monks said. All that remains of the original are two

old stones - probably dating back 400 years to its beginning - which are carved in

Pali script.

Locals say the site has never been excavated for treasures. They say they still find

ancient silver medallions with Buddhist images, and golden bracelets and fishing

hooks in the pagoda grounds.

The money has just about run out now, and the temple still has a long way to go before

it's finished. "I'd like to appeal to all the generous people to give for this

building," said chief monk Hong Boyuth. "Right now we need more money."

MOST VIEWED

  • Police seek arrest of Chinese ‘gang’

    Cambodian police remain on the lookout for 20 Chinese nationals who earlier this month posted a video clip threatening to stoke insecurity in Preah Sihanouk province, though the Chinese Embassy in Phnom Penh maintained the group posed no threats to Cambodia’s national security. National Police

  • Rapper deletes song critical of Cambodian social issues

    A young musician has deleted from Facebook and YouTube a rap song that was critical of Cambodia’s social issues and announced that he will stop singing the song after officials visited his home in Siem Reap province and allegedly gave him a warning. Provincial

  • Man arrested for fake PM endorsement

    The owner of currency exchange company GCG Asia Co Ltd was temporarily detained by the court yesterday for attempted fraud after Prime Minister Hun Sen reacted to the company using his name and pictures to allege his endorsement of the firm. Phnom Penh Municipal Court

  • Sihanoukville authority orders structure dismantled

    The Preah Sihanouk provincial administration has ordered owners of two unauthorised construction sites to immediately dismantle them and warned of legal action if the owners failed to comply. Ly Chet Niyom, development management and construction bureau chief at the provincial hall, told The Post on