APSARA National Authority is restoring the Khnar Phtol temple in Srae Nouy commune, Varin district, Siem Reap province
The Khnar Phdol is a brick and laterite temple with two towers, and each tower has 4 meters wide, 6 meters long, and 6 meters high. The temple is located about 70 km northwest of Siem Reap City and far from the downtown of Varin, so the maintenance and conservation have not been fully implemented in the past. Therefore, it is now observed that the structure of the stone and brick towers is severely damaged due to the large and small plants growing on the towers and the problem of regular waterproofing, causing the temple structure to be deformed in some parts.
Experts from the Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology of the APSARA National Authority are working to save this ancient temple from future loss using emergency support techniques and partially repairing and strengthening the brick structure.
Mr. Tan Sophal, Deputy Director of the Department of Conservation of Monuments and Preventive Archaeology, said that the Khnar Phtol temple is a valuable national heritage that needs to be taken care of and protected at a high level because it is in precise shape. Tourists can visit and learn more about Khmer architecture and history related to the art of the temple structure.
On 11 May 2022, parts of the structure of the east gate of the South Tower, including the lintel and the colonnettes, were fallen due to natural factors. The remaining layer of brick above the lintel is also facing further falling down. Therefore, APSARA National Authority has made efforts to find ways to prevent this temple by using temporary resistance techniques at the East Gate to reduce all those risks and have enough time to study in detail the whole level of damage, including preparation for long-term conservation and restoration program in 2023 or 2024.
Mr. Tan Sophal added that the Cambodian technicians of the APSARA National Authority are currently working to preserve the temple in the second phase after the initial support, in which the emergency work is to repair the broken colonnettes, then we also can restore the lintel back to its original position in a safe condition, as well as restoring the brick walls and the two pilasters at the east gate of the south tower.
A detailed study of the history of the Khnar Phtol temple will continue, with the establishment of an archeological excavation program to examine all traces, including sculptures, artifacts, and other evidence of the true history of this temple structure.
Article: Chhay Phanny
Photos: Mr. Yi Sotha