I had a walk around the Wat Preah Prom Rath compound and went to take a peek through the gate that served as doorway to the main temple. The Wat Preah Prom Rath Temple is surrounded by the wall with typical triangular roof. Right by the doorway there was a sign requesting all visitors to the temple to remove their footwear as sign of respect for Buddha who was housed inside. There was a name of the patron of the temple, but I didn’t memorize that.
I left my sandals by the entrance where several pairs of sandals from people who were already inside were placed. Through the gate I saw several people, all dressed in white shirts, sitting on the porch, chanting prayers aloud. Bare foot, but still outside, I was looking at them. I didn’t want to disturb their prayer but then one of the ladies who participated in praying looked over her shoulder and saw me standing at the gate. Continuing with her prayer, she swinged her head as if giving me a sign that it was OK to enter. Encouraged, I did.
Lady turned back to facing inwards and continued chanting her prayer in Khmer along with everybody else. From the inside, the walls surrounding the Wat Preah Prom Rath Temple had nice colourful relics all over it. I did not understand the motifs revealed, but it was all really pretty, very rich colors and 3 dimensional. I walked all the way around until I got back to the gate and was ready to walk outside.
The same lady who previously gave me the sign that it was OK to enter, looked at me again, smiled and gave me another sign encouraging me to walk inside the temple itself. I was within temple gates, but not inside the temple itself.
They were praying by the door which made it a bit difficult for me (I really didn’t want to disturb their prayer) but silently I sneaked by and walked straight inside. Unlike Catholic churches, Buddhist Temples are not so richly decorated inside. At least not those found in Cambodia. The inside was actually very modest, with hardly anything inside other than really dominant statue of Buddha sitting on a pedestal with his legs in yoga like position. Few unlit candles were in front of the statue and a ship like thing that was used to hold burning sticks. Pleasant smell of oriental burning stick was prevalent inside the temple.
Entering Wat Preah Prom Rath Temple was a powerful experience for me. I felt strongly spiritual and close to the higher being. I took the camera off my neck, took by sun glasses off top of my head, put it all aside, knelt before the statue and clasped by hands in prayer. As I was kneeling before Buddha, I thanked him for the gift of being here.
It was really hot inside. The temple had no windows so it was also rather dark. Air conditioning or anything of that sort is not used in temples. While obscurity added to the spirituality, heat was making it difficult for me. I felt thousands of sweat drops rolling down my back without break. Then someone else entered the temple.
I was still kneeling before the Buddha when a young Khmer male who I think was one of the people from the Wat Preah Prom Rath compound walked in. I stood up and he asked me if I saw the Reclining Buddha. I had no idea what he was talking about and then he took me to show me something behind the big Buddha statue.