If you miss Siem Reap, it means you have never been to Cambodia. If you miss amazing temples here, you will never know the greatest things about Khmer’s architecture.
Scattered on a large area between the Tonle Sap and the Kulen Mountains in Cambodia, hundreds of sacred temples in Angkor still exist and are sacred vestiges representing the political, religious and communal centers of the great expedition of the ancient empire. If you get the chance to take Cambodia Indochina tours, don’t forget to visit these temples below.
Ta Keo Temple
Ta Keo is an unfinished temple which is dedicated to the god Shiva. Ta Keo was built by King Jayavarman V – Rajendravarman’s son when he was 17 years old. However, the temple was never completed because of the death of the king. Legend has it that the temple was struck by lightning during construction, and all work was stopped at the time the main structures were completed. Takeo Temple is the only unfinished temple in the Angkor Thom. Ta Keo is made from green sandstone, completely different from the dark brown or gray of other temples in Angkor.
Banteay Kdei is also known as “the cell wall of the monks”, which is a Buddhist temple in Angkor. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom which was built in the early part of the 13th century under the reign of Jayavarman VII. This intricate Buddhist monastery is currently in ruins due to the faulty construction and poor quality of the sandstone used in its buildings, which are currently being renovated. Banteay Kdei was occupied by monks for various periods of time throughout the centuries until 1960. Located in the remnants of Banteay Kdei, the effigies of the monks have caused much attention. It has charm, sophistication, and not too trivial. This is the place of worship of human beings.
Pre Rup Temple
With three central towers, the Pre Rup looks like a miniature Angkor Wat. It was the second temple built after the capital was moved back to Angkor from Koh Ker after a period of political upheaval. Pre Rup is made of gray sandstone, less durable than pink sandstone like some of the other temples in Angkor. Over the centuries, the intricate carvings on the temple are no longer intact by rain and erosion. The temple was used as a place of cremation for the remains of the royal family.
Preah Khan Temple
Preah Khan temple is one of the largest complexes in Angkor. Like other nearby temples, Preah Khan has been restored a lot. King Jayavarman VII built Preah Khan to make his temporary residence while Angkor Thom was under construction. There are four entrances to the temple door. Entrance to the east is dedicated to Mahayana Buddhism with equally sized doors. The other main direction is reserved for Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma with a smaller entrance, emphasizing the inequality of Hinduism.
As the last and longest capital of the Khmer empire, the name Angkor Thom means “great city”. Angkor Thom was built by King Jayavarman VII at the end of the 12th century. Located in an area of 9 km², inside Angkor Thom campus, there are many temples dating from the previous periods as well as the temples built by Jayavarman and his followers. At the center of the city, there is the national temple of Jayavarman, the Bayon temple, with other monuments gathered around the Victory Square.
Angkor Wat is the most beautiful and largest temple of all temples in Angkor. Situated on a large area of nearly 200 hectares, surrounded by a giant and shaped reservoir, this arrangement reflects the idea of the traditional Khmer temple. Built during the reign of King Suryavarman II in the first half of the 12th century, Angkor Wat is the pinnacle of Khmer architecture. The temple is famous for the bas-reliefs surrounding the shrine, depicting Hindu epics and legends of the Hindu god and immortal life. Inside the temple, there are many reliefs engraved on the walls. In the late 13th century, Angkor Wat gradually moved from a Hindu temple to Mahayana. Unlike other temples in Angkor abandoned after the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 15th century, Angkor Wat still exists as a Buddhist temple.
Bayon Temple was built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII as part of the expansion of the Angkor Thom capital. It was built in the center of the royal city. Bayon is also the only national temple in Angkor built mainly for Mahayana Buddhism, dedicated to the Buddha. After the death of King Jayavarman, Bayon was remodeled by Hinduism. This is the most impressive temple in the Angkor population due to the majesty of scale as well as the mystical spiritual sensation of admiring the temple.
A visit to mysterious temples in Cambodia will be an unforgettable experience for your trip. Why don’t you come and explore them yourself.
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