Category:Dharmasala

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Sites listed in this category are called dharmasalas or rest-houses, also known as houses of fire, or fire temples. According to inscriptions, 121 such structures were built during the late-12th to early-13th century, Jayavarman VII period, close to population centres, as well as along the many Angkorean highways.

Rest-houses are thought to have been caravanserai-style buildings, for travellers or perhaps pilgrims, although fire temple seems also to refer to a site for housing the sacred flame. The constructions may then have been dual-purpose or perhaps certain served one function and others the second?

Whatever the precise purpose, dharmasalas follow a similar, standard design of a rectangular, (usually ) laterite, building with a single tower at the western end, entrance to the east and windows along each side. Good examples can be seen at Prasat Preah Khan (Siem Reap), Prasat Banteay Chhmar and Prasat Kansaeng at Beng Melea. (Sandstone versions seem to correspond to larger or more important sites.)

Of the reported 121, only the locations of a fraction have been confirmed.