Did Battambang warrant two days?. I’m pleased to say yes it did! This is how the day looked.
French Colonial houses
6.30 am Start with a walk to the river for sunrise, passing the French colonial houses from the early 1900’s, now adorned with todays, signs and neon.
Wat Samrong Knong
8.30 am pick up with Bernie, then to an area affected as many were by the Khmer rouge. Here is a description of its history.
“Battambang is one of twenty four provinces in cambodia . battambang city , known as the “ the second city “, is the capital of battambang province and viewed as the most important city in all of Cambodia, after Phnom Penh .
Wat somroung knong Pagoda is located in EK phnom , which is a district of battambang province in the kingdom of Cambodia . battambang literally means “loss of the club “ referring to a legend of preah bat Dambang kranhoung (kranhoung Club king ) this province is bordered to the north by banteay meanchey Province , to the west with Thailand , and to the east and south with pursat Province .
Under the Khmer rouge’s Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979) , battambang was within the Northwest Zone 3. During the 3 years and 9 months of the killing Fields, battambang saw its people evacuated by pol Pot’s men from the city and towns and relocated to remote mountainous areas. The province, once known as the “rice bowl of Cambodia,” was turned into site of torture , killings and starvation .
Approximately 10,000 people are believed to have been killed at this site during the Khmer Rouge period when this religious complex was used for imprisonment , interrogation, and killing. Nothing was held sacred . Monks were defrocked and forced to labor in irrigation projects at Andong Tnoat
A quotation from Cambodia author and education administrator, Huot Robeab,describes the terror in his book , the History of samroung knong . He writes,”at nights we heard weeping and crying the sounds announced that we must finally say goodbye becaus later we would be killed..”.
Quite chilling to read, the Wat today is beautiful, with Stupas scattered around the grounds. Here is a description of a Stupa.
“In the Buddhist tradition, cremation is carried out after person’s death and the ashes are place in the stupa.”The shape of the stupa represents the Buddha, crowed and setting in medi-taition posture on the lion throne. His crown is the top of the spire; his head is the square at the base; his body is the vase shape; his legs are the four steps of the lower terrace; and the base is his throne “. Although not described in any Tibetan text on stupa symbolism it has been assumed that the stupa represents the five purified ele-ment: (1) the square base represents earth, (2) the hemispherical dome / vase represents water, (3) the conical spire represents fire,(4) the upper lous lotus parasol and the crescent , moon represents air and (5)the sun and the dissolving point represents the element of space.”
For more information check the link..