Tep Pranam

"The adoring god"

A large Buddha of a late period (15th and 16th centuries)
Clearing by H. Marchal in 1918

From the road, a hundred metres north of the Terrace of the Leper King, one can see the large sitting Buddha of Tep Pranam at the end of a long cutting through the forest. One gains access along a laterite pavement of 75 metres by 8, after which is a typical Buddhist terrace delimited with "sema", or doubled steles, placed at the corners and on the axis.

Fifty metres long by fourteen wide, the western end of this terrace terminates with a cruciform platform of 30 metres by 30. The moulded walls of its plinth are in sandstone, as is part of its paving. Two lions in the style of the Bayon precede it to the east side, while the nagas of its balustrades date from an earlier period.

A stele inscribed on its four sides, found in the vicinity but whose true origin is unknown, tells of its ancient Buddhist monastery or "asrama" (Saugatasrama) founded by Yasovarman towards the end of the 9th century. The text defines the various rules of organisation - that are almost identical to those of the Shiva´te "Brahmanasrama" and of the "Voirsnavasrama" founded by the same king to the south of the eastern baray. The buildings were certainly constructed in light-weight materials and one can find, on either side, the remains of funerary monuments or "cedei", as well as two stone tanks.

Set on a 1m.00 high moulded base, the statue itself is formed in assembled blocks and reaches to a height of 6m.00 - an enormous Buddha, sitting on a lotus and "calling the earth to witness". Constructed from a number of re-used stones, the body has the look of a rough-formed model whose head - with its "ushnisha" topped by a flame - is certainly of a late period.

Just to the west of Tep Pranam are the remains of a pool with laterite steps, next to which it has been possible to reconstruct another large standing Buddha, over 4m.00 in height and making the ritual gesture of "absence of fear". His face has not been found.