China finances restoration of historic Shiva temple in Cambodia

Nevada (US), Nov 29 (ANI): Hindus have applauded China for reportedly financing the restoration of deteriorating Ta Keo Hindu temple in Cambodia's UNESCO World Heritage Site Angkor temple complex, which began on November 27.

Restoration will take about six million dollars and eight years to complete. People's Republic of China also assisted in the restoration (2000-2008) of 12th century Hindu temple in Angkor named Chausay Tevada, costing about two million dollars, reports suggest.

Said to be built entirely of sandstones by kings Jayavarman V and Suryavarman I in late 10-early 11th century, Ta Keo (Preah Keo) is a pyramid of five levels. Fragments of pedestals and lingas are found in/around its towers. Its primary deity is said to be Shiva. At the foot of the eastern stairways, there is a statue of kneeling Nandi, which indicates that Ta Keo was a Shaivite temple.

Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that more needed to be done to safeguard the Angkor temple complex and its surroundings and deteriorating bas-reliefs; save it from vandalism and looting; put some controls on unchecked tourism; check the demand for water table which could undermine the stability of sandy soils under the temples.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also urged UNESCO World Heritage Convention and Cambodia government to provide more funding for the upkeep of the temple complex and spend more than half the ticket revenue on the temples. He commended China for bankrolling the restoration of historic Hindu temples.

Angkor Archaeological Park contains magnificent remains of over 1000 temples going back to ninth century, spread over about 400 square kilometers, and receives about three million visitors annually. (ANI)

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