Wat Ounalom



Wat Ounalom

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Built in 1943, Wat Ounalom is the headquarters and home of the Buddhist sangha (order) in Cambodia. In the early 1970s, over 500 monks lived here. Tragically, the Khmer Rouge murdered the then leader, Samdech Huot Tat, for his religious convictions and threw a statue of him into the Tonlé Sap River. The statue was recovered after the expulsion of the Khmer Rouge and is now on view on the second floor of the temple. Outside is a beautifully detailed stupa believed to contain a hair from the Buddha’s eyebrow. There is also an extensive Buddhist library in the main temple, although the building is currently under renovation. Visitors to the temple should be wary of self-styled guides who insist on showing them around for a price.

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