Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Sambor Prei Kuk restoration underway with Indian help

Sambor Prei Kuk restoration underway with Indian help

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Asram Moha Russei temple at Sambor Prei Kuk. CULTURE MINISTRY

Sambor Prei Kuk restoration underway with Indian help

The Sambor Prei Kuk National Authority (SPKNA) is to begin the process of renovating and repairing Prison Temple – or Asram Moha Russei – next month, following the signing of a March 25 memorandum of understanding with India.

SPKNA director-general Phan Nady told The Post on March 29 that the pre-Angkorian temple – located in the Sambor Prei Kuk Temple complex – is now in a dilapidated condition due to the effects of weather and human activity from many generations.

“The project to renovate and restore the Prison Temple will cost about $50,000, with the work due to begin sometime in early April. We expect it to be completed within the year,” he said.

He said Sambor Prei Kuk was an ancient city, built in the 6th and early 7th centuries during the Chenla period by King Isanavarman I. The complex consists of 293 ancient hills and temples, including Asram Moha Russei.

Nady added that all of the temples in the complex were brick structures, except for Asram Moha Russei, which is made of sandstone. The temple was built in a style similar to some that could be seen in India, which is what had attracted the Indian government to support its restoration.

Cambodian and Indian officials were discussing certain engineering aspects of the project before determining an exact start date, he said.

Chan Vitharong, director of the SPKNA’s Department of Archaeological Sites and Conservation, told The Post that after the inclusion of the temple complex as a World Heritage Site in 2017, the SPKNA had undertaken many important tasks. They had erected signage which showed the locations of the temples, installed public bathrooms and improved picnic areas at the site.

“Our team also compiled a risk map of each temple and carried out repairs on the most at risk. We are grateful for the assistance we received in this work from ICC-Angkor,” he said, referring to the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and Development of the Historic Site of Angkor.

Vitharong added that Asram Moha Russei is currently listed as a medium-risk temple.


  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one

  • Newest horror film showcases unique Khmer culture, identity

    At first glance, the trailer to new horror sensation The Ritual: Black Nun looks like a western-produced feature film. As the story reveals itself to the viewers, it becomes clearer that this is a Khmer film, with a strong Cambodian identity and close links to

  • Water supply authority assures public shortages over early ‘24

    The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) asked for understanding from Phnom Penh residents in some communes where water pressure is weak. They assured residents that all supply issues will be resolved by early 2024, but have suggested that residents use water sparingly in the meantime.

  • Khmer ballet documentary debuts April 1

    A new documentary, The Perfect Motion, or Tep Hattha in Khmer, will premiere to the public on April 1. The documentary film follows two intertwined storylines: the creation of a show called Metamorphosis by the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi (her very last production) and the