Kbal Spean

'Kbal Spean' is a natural bridge which has given its name to the river it crosses and to the sacred site established along the river for more than a millenium. The majority of Kbal Spean's archaeological vestiges date to the 11th to 13th centuries. From just above the natural bridge to the north, down to the waterfall below, the Kbal Spean river bed is covered with sculptures of lingas, the symbol of the God Shiva's supreme essence. Some of the lingas are on pedestals in the form of their female counterpart, the yoni.

Sign at the approach to the Kbal Spean site

The river banks, along with basins carved deep into the river bed, are likewise sculpted with a variety of scenes, symbols and inscriptions. The most recurrent theme depicted is the recreation of the world fallen into chaos.
The God Vishnu reclines on the ocean in meditation, absorbing the watery chaos below; from his navel there grows a lotus flower bearing the Recreator, Brahma.


Flowing past and over these reliefs, the water is sanctified before branching off to form the Siem Reap and Puok rivers which continue south onto the plain and through the temple complexes of Angkor to the Tonle Sap lake.

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