Phnom Kulen also called Kulen Mountain – meaning Mountain of Lychees – is a sandstone plateau located 40 km northeast of Angkor Site. The plateau extends over an area of 25 by 10 km, with an altitude ranging from 300 to 487 m.
It is considered as a holy mountain in Cambodia. It has a religious significance for Hindu and Buddhist people who make pilgrimages there. Its symbolic importance comes from the fact that the mountain was the birthplace of the ancient Khmer Empire. Indeed, it is the place where King Jayavarman II was crowned Devaraja (god-king) and where he proclaimed the independence from Java in 802 AD.
On the top of the eastern plateau is a little pagoda that houses a Reclining Buddha, directly carved in the sandstone. This Buddha lies on his left side, which is unusual in the traditional iconography.
On the central part of the mountain are located the sites of the “river of a thousand lingas” and Kbal Spean. The site also contains waterfalls in which swimming is allowed.
Hello Bird Tour: $35 per person, entrance fee included (8:00 AM – 4:00 PM) – 75 km