Phnom Banan Temple

Phnom Banan Temple is the highlight you must see in Battambang. It’s situated on the top of the hill, about 22 kilometers to the south of Battambang. Phnom Banan is an Angkor-era mountaintop temple overlooking the countryside and rural villages.

Phnom Banan Temple or it's often called Prasat Phnom Banan or Banan Temple was originally built in the mid 11st century and the end of 12nd century from King Ut Tak Yea Tit Tya Varman II (1050-1066) to king Jarvarman VII (1181-1219). In the past, the temple has been heavily looted but so far it is the best-preserved of the Khmer temples around Battambang.

Phnom Banan

The temple consits of five prasats (towers) arranged in the quincunx (five-pointed) form reminiscent of Angkor Wat with the middle being the largest. You have to climb up 520 steps staircase to reach these towers and enjoy the great panoramic view. At there, you will admire stunning scenery of Sanger River amid sugar palm trees and the breathtaking view of the surrounding countryside with small villages dotting the endless rice paddies. To the south, you will see a mountain range that features a crocodile shaped mountain and to the northwest Phnom Sampeau. At the mountain’s valley, there are Ku Teuk and two main natural wells, namedly: Bit Meas and Chhung or Chhung Achey. The view at the top is great for photos, especially for those who enjoy nature. In additon, several lintel carvings are in good condition (remain above some of the towers doorways), others are housed in the Battambang Museum now.

Phnom Banan Temple

You can also learn a lot about Cambodian architecture, culture, and history from the temple. Inside the temple, there is a deep well called Tomlak Dong Cave, which people believe to be a sacred place. People said that if you throw a coconut into the well and it comes up on the surface of the water, your wish will become true. There is also a shrine in the temple where a lot of people come and pray. People usually pray and ask for happiness, good health, and a safe trip on their way back.

Exploring Phnom Banan

Just over 20km to the south of Battambang City, Phnom Banan Temple is located at Kontler village, Koh Tey 2 commune, Banan district, Battambang province. To get there, it will take you from 20-30 minutes driving from the the city center of Battambang. You will need to head south on Route 154. Because the temple is a short stop visit, you can combine it with a stop at the famous Phnom Sampeou for your full day trip.

If you want to experience something quiet and low-key but still want to learn about Cambodian history and culture, this is the right place for you.

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