Along the dusty road outside Battambang, right along National Road 57 going to Pailin, lies the Military Hospital on the right side. There stands a metal gate that does not have a fence. This lone gate is often visited by people, and it is often referred to by travelers as the Damnak Loung Gate.
The gate once supposedly provided access to a palace of old that has disappeared for several years now. Visitors coming from all over the country visit the gate, and hang strings of colourful ornaments, beads, and other offerings. Tehre are also several large pots that are used for sticks of incense. Apart from these, there are some offerings of fruits, bananas, and the like that are piled on the two spirit houses.
These offerings have become a usual, so much so that there are sellers who are seated just a few meters away from the gate.
According to the sellers, those who come to give offerings are often the people who are seeking help, good luck, among others. Some people even come to rub powder on the gates in hopes that a number would be shown to them.
Damnak Loung Gate History
The Damnak Loung Gate is known as a sacred site for several years. In fact, most locals can remember that it has always been there. To date, majority of the locals cannot remember what the building stood there previously.
However, many actually believe that the Damnak Loung gate is the remaining piece of the royal home of King Norodom. Its name, in fact, translates to “royal gate” because of this belief. The royal residence was the place where kings and royalties stayed at when they visited Battambang.
During the Khmer Rouge, the gate was used as a place where the cadres impaled the heads of traitors. However, most of the parts of the sacred gate that the Khmer Rouge used for that has been removed. The revered section still remains to this day. As it is, ghosts and spirits of dead ancestors are greatly feared and respected by the locals.
According to rumors, when the road that passes through the gate was being worked on, there were supposedly several deaths that involved the construction workers. They were said to have died as they attempted to knock down the sacred gate. So the people took that as a sign that there must be a powerful guardian watching over the gate.
The statement regarding the construction workers was debunked as there was actually no deaths when the road was being built. Nevertheless, people still believe that the gate is a powerful and sacred site. So the gate is respected and kept.
Other sacred sites
The Damnak Loung gate in Battambang is not the only site that has gained this reputation. There are also other places that have held similar tales. So, when someone makes an attempt to corrupt or destroy a revered site, most have died for their efforts. This is believed to be caused by the spirits getting angered.
Have you gone to see the Damnak Loung gate in Battambang? Do you have any similar stories? Let us know!
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