Small Falls of Holy Water


A Small Waterfall in Kbal Spean

It was about three months before my adventurous trekking trip to Nepal. I did not want to break in my new hiking shoes in my own country because the timing was not right, it’s rainy season. So, I brought my shoes to Cambodia. I knew a small hill where I could go in a half-day trip from Siem Reap. It’s Kbal Spean. Moreover I’ve never been to Kbal Spean. I could have two benefits for going there: getting the adjusted shoes and seeing the thousand lingas. Perfect!

Kbal Spean, or Bridge Head, the literal meaning in Khmer language, is one of the Angkorian archaeological site in Cambodia which commonly known as the Valley of a 1000 Lingas or The River of a Thousand Lingas. It is actually an ancient sacred place in the middle of shady jungle. It is located along a 150 meter stretch of the Stung Kbal Spean River, a tributary of Siem Reap River, and the water is believed holy since it flows over the sacred thousands lingas (as symbol of Shiva, the Hindu’s god) and many other carvings of gods and deities on the boulders.  

The lingas and Yoni sculptures on the river bed

The lingas and Yoni sculptures on the river bed

The site is around 50 km north of Siem reap, and taking about 1 hour by car or more if taking tuk-tuk. From the parking area, it needs around 45 minutes easy walking uphill to reach the site.

Walking to the sacred site, I followed the pretty path that brought me into a jungle. It’s a nice walk and the most important I felt comfortable wearing my new shoes. Some spots were steep enough, but it was okay since I walked under the shady trees. I passed some interesting boulder formations along the way, which made me amazed to its size and forms.

The neatly arranged lingas and sculptures

The neatly arranged lingas and sculptures

I love the carvings! There are many impressive carvings of Brahma, Vishnu, Lakshmi, and Shiva with his consort Uma, also the amazing hundreds of lingas appear on the river bed and banks. The site is protected only by a rope as a border to access.

I do really enjoyed my trekking to Kbal Spean because I walked slowly with many stops for taking photos. I listened to the music of the jungle as the leaves were swayed here and there by the wind. On reaching the site, I explored the area and got the waterfall. Unfortunately the water was not overflow but still beautiful. It’s still holy! I thought I had some splash on my new shoes… it’s a good luck sign, I wish 🙂


This post was written in response to the weekly challenge from Celina’s Blog and Cerita Riyanti, -similar to the old Weekly Photo Challenge from WordPress-, which is the 50th week of 2019 has the theme of All About Water, so we are encouraged ourselves to write articles weekly. If you are interested to take part in this challenge, we welcome you… and of course we will be very happy!

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