Skip to main content

Preah Vihear

Preah Vihear (prĕ vēhēr´), Thai Phra Viharn (prä wē´hän), Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, N central Cambodia near the Thai border. Situated on the edge of a plateau overlooking the N Cambodian plain, the temple was begun in the 9th cent. and completed in the 11th cent. and predates Angkor Wat (see under Angkor). Comprised of a series of sanctuaries linked by pavements and staircases, it is an outstanding example of Khmer architecture.

Claimed by both Cambodia and Thailand, the temple was awarded to Cambodia by the World Court in 1962, but Thailand continues to claim it. The site was occupied by the Khmer Rouge for years. Preah Vihear was designated a Cambodian World Heritage Site in 2008, a decision that infuriated the Thais. Subsequently, thousands of soldiers from both sides occupied the area, which has been the scene of several military skirmishes. In 2011 the International Court of Justice called for both nations to withdraw their troops from several square miles surrounding the temple and create a demilitarized zone; both governments removed their troops in July, 2012, and replaced them with police. The court subsequently (2013) awarded sovereignty over most of the disputed land around the temple to Cambodia.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Preah Vihear." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . 25 May. 2019 <>.

"Preah Vihear." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . (May 25, 2019).

"Preah Vihear." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved May 25, 2019 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.