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New temple discovered deep in the forest

Mom Kunthear / Khmer Times Share:
The actual temple structure appears to be mostly underground. Supplied Supplied

Strung Treng provincial authorities will cooperate with the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts to study a centuries-old temple recently discovered in the forest and organize the area to become a tourist site.

Thong Srann, Seam Bok district governor, said yesterday he went to visit the temple last week after villagers told him about the temple they had found.

The temple is located near the border of Strung Treng and Kratie provinces.

“I went to visit the location the villagers pointed out, and at first only saw a few boulders and a pond in the middle of the forest,” Mr Srann said.

It appears the actual structure is mostly underground, and will need much archaeological research and digging. Mr Srann said he already informed officials from the provincial department of culture and fine arts about the temple and they plan to make the area into a tourist attraction.

“We will return to the site next week with archaeologist to establish how old the temple is and see if we can find its name,” Mr Srann said. “It is similar in appearance to Preah Kor temple, which was built with clay in the late sixth or early seventh century.”

Mr Srann said the road from the town to the temple is very rough, which is why he plans to cooperate with relevant departments to build a good road and try and turn the area to a tourist site that will boost the local economy.

“With a good road, we’d spend an hour to reach the temple, which is located about 50 kilometres from the town, but as of now it is very hard to reach,” he said.

Nhouch Sareoun, head of the provincial department of culture and fine arts, said she was told the temple was discovered, but hadn’t been there due to the poor transportation conditions.

“We wanted to see the temple as soon as we heard about it, but local authorities told us the road is too bad to go there, so I cannot say what we will do until we’ve seen it,” Ms Sareoun said.

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