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 Home » Temple History
Ta Prohm Temple - Of similar design to the later Jayavarman VII temples of Preah Khan and Banteay Kdei, this quiet, sprawling monastic complex is only partially cleared of jungle overgrowth. Intentionally left partially unrestored, massive fig and silk-cotton trees grow from the towers and corridors offering some of the best ‘tree-in-temple’ photo opportunities at Angkor. Flocks of noisy parrots flit from tree to tree adding to the jungle atmosphere. Ta Prohm is well worth an extended exploration of its dark corridors and open plazas. This temple was one of Jayavarman VII's first major temple projects. Ta Prohm was dedicated to his mother. (Preah Khan, built shortly after Ta Prohm in the same general style, was dedicated to Jayavarman VII’s father.) Ta Prohm was originally constructed as a Buddhist monastery and was enormously wealthy in its time, boasting of control over 3000 villages, thousands of support staff and vast stores of jewels and gold. Of the monastic complex style temples, Ta Prohm is a superior example and should be included in almost any temple itinerary.
Ta Nei Temple - Small (55m x 47m), semi-ruined, untouristed jungle temple reminiscent of Ta Som, and displaying classic Jayavarman VII artistry. Some of the apsara and lintel carvings are in pretty good condition. In much rougher shape than most of the temples on the main tour circuit. The primary road to Ta Nei from where it meets the Grand Circuit road near the southeast corner of Ta Keo was closed on last inspection. To get to Ta Nei, park at the end of the road near Ta Keo and walk the dirt road about 1km to Ta Nei, or by motorcycle, follow unmarked dirt road from just outside the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom to the 'French Dam.' Cross the dam and proceed 200m up a small path.
Srah Srang - Picturesque baray opposite the east entrance of Banteay Kdei. Originally constructed by the same architect that built Pre Rup. Remodeled in the 12th century as part of Jayavarman VII's massive building campaign. A multi-tiered landing platform on the west edge of the baray is adorned with naga balustrades and guardian lions. The very sparse remains of an island temple can be seen poking out of the middle of the lake during the dry season when the water is low. Srah Srang offers a pleasant, much less touristed sunrise alternative to Angkor Wat.
Ta Keo Temple - Towering but plainly decorated temple-mountain dedicated to Shiva. Known in its time as ‘the mountain with golden peaks.’ The first to be constructed wholly of sandstone, this temple employing huge sandstone blocks. Constructed under three kings, begun by Jayavarman V as his state-temple and continued under Jayaviravarman and Suryavarman I. When Jayavarman V first constructed Ta Keo, he part ways with previous kings, constructing his state temple outside of his main capital area. Construction on Ta Keo seems to have stopped particularly early in the decoration phase as evidenced by the lack of carvings. Ta Keo is well worth a visit, but if you are pressed for time, see Pre Rup instead.
Preah Ko Temple - Roluos Group. Six towers displaying set on a platform, all beautifully preserved carvings . Originally surrounded by walls and gopuras of which only vestiges remain. Preah Ko was one of the first major temples of the empire at the early Khmer capital of Hariharalaya. Preah Ko (Sacred Bull) derives its name from the statues of bulls at the front of the central towers.

Bei Temple - A set of three brick towers between Baksei Chamkrong and the moat of Angkor Thom near the South Gate. The central prasat rises 10 meters. Construction was never completed. Some lintel carvings survive. Prasat Bei literally means 'towers three.' Best lighting in the morning.

Phnom Kulen Temple is a hoy mountain in Cambodia on which in 802, King Jayavarman II has been declared a god-king.
• An exquisite mountain region of waterfalls and riverbed carvings. Hundreds of images have been carved into the sandstone floors along a shady brook.
• The Khmer Rouge used the mountain as a final stronghold for two decades after losing power in 1979, so nothing is left from the temples which were built at the time of Javayarman II and successors..

Comments

• You will for sure enjoy the most beautiful section of the thousand lingas river cascades, where a majestic sunlit waterfall streams through dense jungle.
• I would like to organise there a pleasant recreation between the combined visits of Bantaey Srei and Bang Melea

Phnom Bakheng - The construction of this temple mountain on Phnom Bakheng (Bakheng Hill), the first major temple to be constructed in the Angkor area, marked the move of the capital of the Khmer empire from Roluos to Angkor in the late 9th century AD. It served as King Yasovarman I's state-temple at the center of his new capital city Yasodharapura. The foundation of Bakheng is carved from the existing rock edifice rather than the laterite and earthfill of most other temples. Bakheng's hilltop location makes it the most popular sunset location in the area, offering a view of the Tonle Sap Lake and a distant Angkor Wat in the jungle. (A good photo of Angkor Wat in the distance requires at least a 400mm lens.) The temple is usually overcrowded at sunset, sometimes even completely overrun by tourists. Due to overuse and damage, the main stairway up the mountain has been closed and an alternate path to the top has been opened. Elephant rides up and down the hill are also available from about 4:00PM till sunset. $15/person up the mountain. $10 per person down the mountain.
Phimeanakas Temple - Impressive laterite and sandstone pyramid. The lack of surviving carvings leaves it artistically uninteresting, but it is the tallest scalable temple in Angkor Thom, providing a nice view from the top. The western staircase (at the back) is the most easily ascended. Located inside the ancient Royal Palace compound, Phimeanakas served as the king’s temple. Legend has it that the golden tower crowned the temple and was inhabited by a serpent, which would transform into a woman. The kings of Angkor were required to make love with the serpent every night, lest disaster befall him or the kingdom.
Neak Pean Temple - A small island temple located in the middle of the last baray (the Preah Khan Baray or Jayatataka) to be constructed by a Khmer king in the Angkor area. The central temple sits at the axis of a cross or lotus pattern of eight pools. Originally known as Rajasri, Neak Pean took its modern appellation, which means ‘coiled serpents,’ from the encoiled nagas that encircled the temple. The temple is faced by a statue of the horse, Balaha, saving drowning sailors. Though originally dedicated to Buddha, Neak Pean contains several Hindu images. Neak Pean may have served an absolution function, and the waters were thought to have healing properties. During the dry season when the water is low, check out the animal and human headwater spouts at the outside center of each pool. Neak Pean is most photogenic in the wet season when the pools are full.
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