About 60 kilometers from Siem Reap provincial town and 25 kilometers from Banteay Srei, this is Phnom Kulen. It is located in Svay Leu and Varin district. Besides the first name, it has another name namely Mahendraparvata that is the holy mountain. This mountain was proclaimed independence from Java in 802, by King Jayavarman II59 (AD 802-850). At that time, the Angkorian Empire was born.
More than half a century, this mountain plateau served as the capital of the first Khmer Empire. Next, it relocated the south to Hariharalaya, known today as Roluos. It was around 20 minor temples which had been found the plateau, comprising Rorng Chen temple. Note that the first pyramid was built by Angkorian King, and many of them are hard to be difficult to reach. Thus, many numerous important sites may lie across the mountaintop being been accessible by foot or by car.
Image credit: teleinfo-kh