Preah Vihear Temple s a HINDU temple built during the reign of KHMER EMPIRE, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the DÂNGRÊK MOUNTAINS, in the PREAH VIHEAR province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over ownership, the INTERNATIONAL COURT OF JUSTICE (ICJ) in THE HAGUE awarded the temple to Cambodia. Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-centuries-long KHMER EMPIRE. As a key edifice of the empire’s spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles. Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north-south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia’s Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the KHAO PHRA WIHAN NATIONAL PARK which borders it in Thailand’s Sisaket province and through which the temple is most easily accessible. On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE SITE.

Prasat Preah Vihear is the compound of words Prasat, Preah and Vihear mean “castle”, sometimes “temple”; in Sanskrit . Preah mean “sacred”. “Vihear” mean “shrine” (the central structure of the temple). The word Vihear could be related to the SANSKRIT word VIHARA which means “abode.”Preah Vihear is transliterated into THAI as Prasat Phra Viharn  or Prasat Khao Phra Viharn .Prasat has the same meaning in Khmer, Thai, and Sanskrit (“castle”, sometimes “temple”; in Sanskrit and Khao is the Thai word for “hill” or “mountain” (in Khmer: “phnom“. Cambodians occasionally refer to it as “Phnom Preah Vihear”  and Thais usually call it “Khao Phra Viharn”). The words “Preah”  and “Phra”  mean “sacred”, and the words “Vihear“/”Viharn” ) mean “shrine” (the central structure of the temple). In Thai, the word “khao”  has recently (as of 2008) been omitted from the name in order to differentiate between the temple and the cliff it is built atop.The two versions of the name carry significant political and national connotations.  

Other Attractions



Other Provinces

Siem Reap Province

Phnom Penh (Capital)

Kompot Province

Kep Province

Koh Kong Province

Preah Sihanouk Province

Scroll to Top