Baray Wat Phu Phakneu

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Baray Wat Phu Phakneu
Native Nameບາລະມີວັດພູ, បារាយណ៍វត្តភូ
Alternative nameNorthern Wat Phu Baray, North Wat Phu Baray, Wat Phu Baray North, North Baray
TypeAncient Reservoir
Part ofWat Phu, Lingapura (Champassak), Wat Phou and Associated Ancient Settlements
Coordinates14.84962, 105.82436
Founded11th Century
MaterialSandstone, Laterite
UNESCO Inscription2001

L16116 Baray Wat Phu 1.jpg
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Site Size & Condition: Reservoir Baray Wat Phu Phakneu (ບາລະມີວັດພູ - Pronounced: Ba'raye Woit Pooh Pahk-neu)

The northern of the 2 large, parallel, reservoirs are situated to the east of, and following a similar alignment to, the main Wat Phu temple site. There was undoubtedly, originally, a 3rd to the south as the 2 surviving ones are correspondingly known as the Middle Baray and North Baray. Over time - and road construction (1) - the embankments have become somewhat irregular in form but measure approximately 200m x 600m. (It is possible the central one was slightly narrower.)

Today they are water-filled for much of the year although the assumed southern one is now given over to buildings and agricultural land. The Middle Baray has a wide sandstone and laterite platform at its western end, in a slightly cruciform shape, and from here a linga-lined causeway leads to the 'palaces' and main temple structures. Additional laterite blocks can be seen within the embankments.

As with the main temple, the reservoirs certainly saw numerous upgrades, enlargements and renovations over time with the layout seen today probably dating to the 11th or early 12th-century?

(1) The main access road to the Wat Phu site now follows the southern embankment of the Middle Baray.

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