Volume 2 No.7

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Legend Of Phnom Senharn
Khmer Tales, Volume 6, Buddhist Institute, Ministry of Cults and Religion. ( July, 2002 Volume 2 No.7 )

In the province of Kampot, there is a mountain known as Phnom Senharn. It is located on the west of the Angkor Chey Pagoda in Angkor Chey commune, Angkor Chey district--a former part of the Banteay Meas district. The mountain is about 10 kilometers long, 5 kilometers wide and some 2 kilometers from the foot of the mountain to its top. There are all kinds of plants and trees growing thickly at the top of the mountain. Beneath it, just west of another pagoda named Ang Ponleu, is a valley called Chruos Sla (Ereca crevasse) where the water is cool and transparent blue. It is home to a wide range of species of fish.
Legend has it that once upon a time, local inhabitants in many areas not far from this mountain (it had no name yet at that time) were starved. Many of them came to settle down and made their living by growing secondary food crops such as bananas, corn, taro, potatoes, sugar canes and other plants, including coconuts and areca along the foot of the mountain. Among those, was an old man named Sen (in Khmer means ten of thousand), who was the bravest person in the area. When the crops had grown big enough for harvest, a Damrei Sdar (a bull elephant with short tusks instead of long ones) encroached upon the plantation and ate wantonly and destroyed whatsoever he confronted. Having seen that, the old man Sen thought that if he did not resort to any means to get rid of the destrictive elephant, his and his neighbors' agricultural products would inevitably be destroyed.
While other villagers felt scared to chase the elephant out of their territory, the old man Sen, without hesitation, took his Lumpeng (a javelin with sharp spearhead) and Kamebt prear (common knife) to hunt down and had the wild elephant killed. In recognition of the old man’s bravery, the rest of the community named him "Senklaharn", which mean "Ten Thousand Courage". Later after Ta Senklaharn had died, the locals called the mountain where he resided, Phnom Ta Senklaharn. Over the years, people gradually refer to the place verbally as Phnom Senharn out of convenience and the name remain so until this day.