Srah Srang – the royal bath of Angkor

Srah Srang – the royal bath of Angkor

Srah Srang is a large water reservoir in Siem Reap. It is located near Angkor Thom and Angkor Wat. Its name translates as “royal bath”

Srah Srang

The man-made reservoir was commissioned in the 10th century during the reign of King Rajendravarman II and built by his architect Kavindrarimathana. Around 1200, several more additions were made during the reign of Jayavarman VII. For example, a landing place made of laterite in the Bayon style was added. The landing site was also given a terrace, and the entire lake was surrounded by a sandstone enclosure. It can be assumed that the construction of the landing place was done because the Eastern Baray was already struggling with sediments and some malfunctions at that time. The landing site was probably used very frequently, as remains of sandstone debris can still be found in the lake today. From Srah Srang one can see in the distance both the Eastern Mebon and the state temple Pre Rup.

The temple of Banteay Kdei and Srah Srang form an ensemble in terms of both planning and use at the time. At the northwest corner of the lake is a necropolis discovered during French archaeological expeditions. This is about 1600 square meters in size and numerous artifacts and cremated remains of the deceased were found during the excavations there, which had been placed in so-called mortuary vessels.

Srah Srang measures 700 meters by 350 meters and is still – at least partially – filled with water, which means that this artificially excavated water reservoir has been collecting water for over 1000 years. Therefore, it can be said that this is a true architectural masterpiece, which has not been affected by the passage of time. The wide and mostly calm water surface invites to stay and reflect – both tourists and locals like to spend a quiet time there. For visitors, the sunrise is especially recommended here, the terrace is very easy to reach here coming from the street, as steps lead directly up from there. On the side of the stairs down to the lake are two elaborate lion statues that have stood the test of time well.

A visit to Srah Srang can be very well combined with the temple Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm due to the local proximity, all of which should definitely be on the list of sights not to be missed.