Siem Reap Vistior Guide 59th


Phnom Bakheng ttt

Constructed: Late 9 th - Early 10 th century C.E.

Religion: Hindu (Shiva)

King/Patron: Yasovarman I Style: 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 lat-

erite 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 . Quiet the rest of the day. Elephant rides up the hill are available for sunset. Always overcrowded at sunset, so much so that authorities are now limiting the number of visitors at sunset. Consider a alternative sunset location. Prasat Bei t R)asaTbI Constructed: 10 th century C.E. Religion: Hindu (Shiva) King/Patron: Yasovarman I Style: Bakheng

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 com- pleted. Some lintel carvings survive. Prasat Bei literally means 'towers three.' Best light- ing in the morning.


Prasat Kravan t Constructed: Early 10 th C.E. King/Patron: Harshavarman I

Religion: Hindu (Vishnu)

Style: Bakheng East-facing brick towers containing unique bas-reliefs of Vishnu and Lakshmi rendered in brick - the only example of brick bas-reliefs in the Angkor area. Prasat Kravan was originally constructed by noblemen rather than a king and has a twin sister in Takeo Province south of Phnom Penh, Prasat Neang Khmau , which contained paintings rather than bas-reliefs, some of which still survives. Prasat Kravan was reconstructed

by archaeologists in the early 20 th century. Look for modern replacement bricks labeled "CA."


Prasat Prei t

Constructed: Late 12th - Early 13th century C.E.

Religion: Buddhist

King/Patron: Jayavarman VII Style: Bayon Small, untouristed temple ruins in a forest setting near Neak Pean . Remains of a gopura, the central tower and halls, and the vestiges of a library and surrounding wall. Some apsara and lintel carvings. A quiet, peaceful location.


Prasat Suor Prat t

Constructed: Early 13th century C.E. King/Patron: Jayavarman II Style: Bayon/Post-Bayon Angkor Thom: Twelve nearly identical laterite/sandstone towers that stand opposite and parallel to the Terrace of the Elephants . The artistic and architectural style of the tow- ers is unique, defying easy classification and dating. Construction may have begun under Jayavarman VII, but the towers do not display the classic Bayon-style charac- teristics. It has been argued that they may be post-Bayon or perhaps much earlier, as early the 11th century.

The original function of the towers is a matter of debate but in the 13th century classic, " Customs of Cambodia, " Chinese emissary to Angkor, Zhou Daguan, gives a romantic but dubious firsthand account of their function. He wrote that the towers were used to settle legal disputes and matters of criminal justice. The belligerent parties were kept in the towers for a few days. The one to emerge in ill health was declared the loser, guilty by divine decree. Best pho- tographed in the late afternoon.

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