Wat Ounalom

Located in the heart of Phnom Penh, Wat Ounalom is one of the most remarkable religious sites featuring Cambodian Buddhism. The authentic pagoda is now the residence of the leading Buddhist monks of the country as well as the patriarch of the Mahanikai School of Buddhism. If you are interested in spirituality and you wish to learn more about Cambodia's philosophy and history, paying a visit to Wat Ounalom is a perfect choice.

Wat Ounalom 1

Wat Ounalom when translated to English means the “eyebrow temple”. Being built in 1443 with the purpose of enshrining an Ounalom of Lord Buddha, there were about 500 Buddhist monks living there. The pagoda used to be an important library of the Buddhist Institutes. Due to the Khmer Rouge domination, many monks died but the eyebrow of Lord Buddha still survived as a miracle. After that, the holy eyebrow is the important point of the construction.

Wat Ounalom 2

Nowadays, Wat Ounalom stands on Sihanouk Boulevard, a large area of the city center. The complex has 44 buildings and 3 different levels. The main building reflects the modern architecture of a 15th-century pagoda. Wat Ounalom is extremely a superb “museum” of precious paintings and cultural relics related to the Lord Buddha’s life. Coming here, you should not miss the chance to visit Chetdai to witness the holy eyebrow of Buddha, 4 bronze statues of Lord Buddha, several figures of Hindu gods, the image of Samdech Huot Tat, and the statue of a former patriarch of the Thummayuth sect. From Wat Ounalom, you can also enjoy the amazing view of the mighty Mekong River.

Wat Ounalom 3

Wat Ounalom is conveniently visited during a day tour in Phnom Penh by private car. Some nearby attractions that you can spend time exploring besides the pagoda are the Royal Palace, the National Museum, and Wat Phnom.

Climate, the best time to visit

Phnom Penh has a tropical climate with the wet season from May to October and the dry season from November to April. The summer sees more chance of rainfall than the winter. The average temperature is around 28 °C. The best time to visit Wat Ounalom is months lasting from November to January when the weather is cool and the humidity is comfortable. In addition, it is good to arrive at the pagoda in the early morning or late afternoon to avoid heat and crowds.

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