Hey guys, today we are at a very special place called Kbal Spean in Cambodia. As you can tell, this is a very remote place, but there are some very interesting Hindu artifacts found underwater. We are in the deepest part of the jungles of Cambodia. But there are remnants which are more than 900 years old in this area, and they are found underwater, so we are going to try and find them today. So, let’s go.
I had previously shown you underwater lingams at a place called Phnom Kulen, this place is about 40 kilometers from there. I am trying to decode the meaning of these underwater lingams and why ancient builders made carvings on the river beds in these remote mountains. I find it very intriguing that there are 2 sites which have ancient underwater carvings side by side. What could be the meaning of this?
I have been walking for more than 45 minutes now, I have been walking uphill. You can see how dark this entire area is, well, it is 2 o clock in the afternoon. There is bright sunlight, but with all these trees, you can see that even sunlight cannot pass through, because we are in the middle of a jungle. And we still have to walk for more than an hour to reach these ancient Hindu sites. So I am gonna keep walking.
So we have reached the top of Kbal Spean mountain. We can find some very interesting stone carvings here. Now what does Kbal Spean mean? The word actually comes from Kabala, meaning skull, in Sanskrit. And Spean means bridge in Cambodian. But I will show you Kbal Spean later, let us look at the carvings now.
And here we can see something fantastic. Look at this – this is beautiful because this is not fully underwater. There is this huge lingam in the middle, and then, look around it, hundreds of lingams around this. Many of them are outside water. Look at this circular lingams coming out. And some of them are inside water. And you can see this huge pattern, carved in the stream. Something is strange about this central lingam. Because it is not one lingam, it is five lingams. There are 5 small lingams, set up in the middle and around it there is like a rectangular groove coming out. And there are 4, no there are 8 lingams. And there are 8 smaller lingams outside, do you see them? It is amazing to see. We are gonna have to decode this. Why did ancient builders create these amazing carvings underwater 1000 years ago? People will say it is simply for religious purposes, but there must be a scientific reason behind this. And we need to find out why they did it. Let’s go further. More lingams, this entire river bed, possibly made of sandstone, has been completely carved. You don’t even see like a normal, flat river bed anymore, everything you see is full of these protruding lingams. All of them are lingams. I have been climbing this mountain for more than an hour now, and I find at the top of the mountain, underwater, thousands of lingams, look you don’t even see a flat surface. This is all lingams.
There are 2 types of explorations which can yield great results. The first one is exploring underwater, underwater footage can be very exciting to watch, I showed you lots of underwater footage in Phnom Kulen Mountain. The second one is exploring into the woods.
There is something very interesting here, this is a cave. This is a man made cave. Look at the perfect cuts, possible sign of painting. This would have been a perfect location for people to stay. More than a 1000 years ago, people would have stayed here. You can still see the base of a lingam. And you can see, even though Cambodia is about 85% Buddhist now, and not Hindu, people still pray here, you can see these incense sticks and the base of the lingam. It must be a sacred place. Let’s go and find more carvings.
This is not the only cave, inside the forest there are several small shelters. Perhaps ancient builders used structures like these for meditation. Places like these have a strange energy to them. When I explore more, I find more and more interesting structures. Here we can see this rock which is clearly cut into a complex shape. This has multiple Trapezoidal Cuts, and this is deep into the woods. This piece is possibly, a part of the base of a temple. This means in this mountain, there should be Hindu temples hidden, waiting to be found.
Over here, what do you see? Now, this carving here, in the middle of nowhere, this was carved at least in 11th century, which means it is about 1000 years old. Look how beautiful this is, this is Vishnu, lying down and his consort Lakshmi, is basically at his feet. This is Vishnu, who is in a reclining posture, and you can see his consort Lakshmi, and Vishnu has this 7 headed Naga protecting him, and you can see the Naga’s tail. There should be more details here, there is another vishnu on that side, and you can see Brahma coming from his navel. Actually, I think the paint must have been a little bit fresh, you can see this white paint on Brahma, which was possibly made in the last few centuries. Nearby, look there, that is a broken lingam. It has this beautiful rectangular groove around it, the base, but the lingam, the cylinder, has been destroyed. This is amazing.
Remember the name of this place was Kbal Spean which means Skull Bridge? This is the skull bridge. This is not natural. This is man made, but look at the length of that rock, which connects this part and that part. And why do we call it the skull bridge? Where is that skull part? Let’s go over there and find out.
So we can see these round holes here, according to the locals, according to locals there used to be skulls, massive skulls placed inside these holes. This is how it got the name Kbal. So this is the Kbal Spean, the skull bridge, which connects these 2 corners.
Hinduism is very much related to Skulls known as Kapalas. Unfortunately, most of their Hindu history is forgotten by today’s Cambodians, so we don’t get more information. Remember I showed you the temple of crystal skulls in a different video. There is a Hindu sect called Kapaalikas in India, who use skulls for their rituals, and they are all worshippers of Shiva.
Here is a weird carving. One lingam in the center, surrounded by 8 lingams. This is called Navagraha Lingam. Navagraha are the 9 elements in Indian astrology. Why did they carve these various types of Lingams on top of this mountain? What could be their purpose?
And here, the water is coming this way and look that is a massive lingam. The diameter must be at least 2 feet long. That is a huge lingam, and surrounding it, is a square base called Yoni. … It is positioned exactly at the center of the water flowing. Water has to flow through that lingam, before coming down. It is beautifully designed, at least 1000 years ago. But the question is why? It is beautifully designed at least 1000 years ago, but the question is: WHY?Why does the water have to flow through these lingams before going down from the mountain top?
Here is a rare carving of Lord Brahma. He is usually shown with 4 heads, in a sitting posture. The fourth head is at the back, of course. Isolated statues of Brahma are very rare. In India, there are almost no temples dedicated to Brahma, however in Cambodia, there are plenty of statues and temples for Brahma. Remember I showed you the carving of a Dinosaur, that temple is also dedicated to Brahma.
There are many rare carvings here. Here is Shiva riding a bull, these depictions are not very common. Also we can see plenty of Vishnus. This is typical Vishnu sleeping on a giant snake with his wife Lakshmi near him.
Here again, we can see 5 lingams in one yoni. One cylinder in the center, surrounded by 4 lingams within one square. It may look like a weird Cymatics pattern to you, but in Hinduism this is sometimes referred to as Panchabootha Lingam. 5 lingams represent 5 prime elements of nature: Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space. Now, compare the 5 lingams, and the layout of Angkor Wat. See how there is one central tower, surrounded by 4 towers. And see how everything is enclosed in a square. This is not a coincidence. But we are just beginning to understand how ancient builders worked.