West Baray - Baray Toek Thla
Constructed : 9th century & 12th century
King : Jayavarman VII ★ 1181 - 1218 ★
Location : West of Angkor Thom. North of Siem Reap Airport.
Comment : West Baray largest artificial reservoir is at Angkor area, is only artificial reservoir which at the same time even presently is used.
The barays are immense water tanks probably intended for the irrigation of the surrounding rice plantations of which some claim that they also played of religious or political roles. The first barays date from the 9th century, most important built by Jayavarman VII in the 12th century (8 km by 2.2 km are those) and one builds some still nowadays! Largest barays, several kilometres of with dimensions contained 40 million cubic meters of water. It is possible that a rupture of criminal origin of the dams of the Eastern baray is at the origin of a gigantic flood of the area and by the same occasion of a terrible epidemic which would have obliged the Khmer people to flee and to thus give up the site of Angkor at the beginning of the 15° century. This would also explain why this baray would have filled of ground and sand thus transforming it into a gigantic rice plantation.