The original name of the temple is Sri Suryaparvata , "The mountain of the Sun", or "The Mountain of Surya[varman]". The temple was built by King Suryavarman I (1002-1050). The temple was consecrated to Shiva in the shape of linga "Suryavarmesvara" [Suryavarman + Isvara = Shiva].
Suryaparvata is located on the east edge of a steep hill, dominating a vast plain of rice fields. The view is great.
An avenue runs to the temple from the East, starting at Tonle Om, the ancient baray of the temple. Two outer gates are on the way, both are of cruciform ground plan. Son Reveang is a stately building, now used as a Buddhist sanctuary. Sen Thmol, at the foot of the hill, is heavily overgrown.
From here a stairway climbs up the hill. Starting with 7.5 m width, the steps narrow steadily to 5 m.
Primitive galleries form the enclosure. These are a series of halls [F-L], built of laterite and sandstone, and vaulted by brick. Apart from three entrances to the East, and three to the West, the outer walls are closed. The principal entrance is to the East.
Inside are six towers [A-D], a mandapa, and two fire shrines [E]. The towers open to the East, the fire shrines open to the West. All buildings are made of brick, with sandstone doors. The plant is symmetrical to the east-west axis, except tower D (which may be older or younger than the other towers.)
You can find inscriptions at door frames. And there are many interesting reliefs.
Photo on top: Phnom Chisor, inner enclosure, view from east: SE fire shrine - lateral tower - mandapa - lateral tower - NE fire shrine,
Phnom Chisor is 42 km south of Phnom Penh, near RN 2. You start the visit at Son Reveang, and drive on to Sen Thmol. From here you climb up the steep stairway. You descend to the North, along a concrete stairway and an unpaved road. Your driver can pick you up at the parking space. As the hill is steep, you should climb up in the early morning or late afternoon. The view is best when the rice fields are green.
- Rovada 2005, p. 67, 361.
- Zieger, p. 162-164.
- Brugier/ Lacroix 2009, p. 65-95. From there the maps