Mystic River - Kbal Spean

Mystic River

Kbal Spean, Bridge Head in Khmer, is an Angkorian era archaeological site on the southwest slopes of the Kulen Hills to the northeast of Angkor in Siem Reap District. The site consists of a series of stone rock relief carvings in sandstone formations of the river bed and banks. The motifs for stone carvings are mainly myriads of lingams (phallic symbol of Hindu god Shiva), depicted as neatly arranged bumps that cover the surface of a sandstone bed rock, and lingam-yoni designs. There are also various Hindu mythological motifs, including depictions of the gods Shiva, Vishnu, Brahma, Lakshmi, Rama and Hanuman, as well as animals (cows and frogs). The river, being sanctified by flowing over the religious sculptures, flows downstream, bifurcating into the Siem Reap River and Puok River, which eventually flows into the Tonlé Sap Lake after passing through the plains and the Angkor temple complex.

Kbal Spean is commonly known as the “Valley of a 1000 Lingas” or “The River of a Thousand Lingas”.