Siem Reap Vistior Guide 59th



The Roluos Group is a collection of monuments representing the remains of Hariharalaya, the first major capital of the Angkorian-era Khmer Empire. It has become known as the ‘ Roluos Group ’ due to its proximity to the modern town of Roluos. The ancient capital was named for Hari-Hara, a synthesis of the Hindu gods Shiva and Vishnu. Though there was an existing settlement in the area before the rise of Angkor, Hariharalaya was established as a capital city by Jayavarman II and served as the Khmer capital for over 70 years under four successive kings. Setting the pattern for the next four centuries, the first great Khmer temples ( Bakong , Preah Ko , Lolei and a baray) were constructed at Hariharalaya. The last king at Hariharalaya, Yasovarman I, built the first major temple at Angkor, Phnom Bakheng , and moved the capital to the Bakheng area in 905 C.E. With the exception of a 20 year inter- ruption in the 10th century, the capital would remain at Angkor until 1422 C.E. The Roluos Group is located about 13km (20 minutes) southeast of Siem Reap and is easily included in any three day temple itinerary. Admission to the Roluos Group is included in you regular Angkor Park admission pass. Bakong R)asaT)aKg Constructed: Late 9 th century C.E. Religion: Hindu King/Patron: Indravarman I Style: Preah Ko T hough the densest concentration of ruins is to be found within the Angkor Park , there are Khmer temple ruins scattered across Cambodia as well as parts of Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. Some temples outside the Park area such as Roluos Group, Banteay Srey and Phnom Krom are com- paratively close to Siem Reap and easily incorporated into most itineraries. More remote sites such as Beng Melea, Koh Ker, Banteay Chhmar and Preah Vihear take a full day or more to visit due to distance. The journey to these remote temples can be as interesting as the temple ruins themselves - traveling though picturesque countryside, rural villages and tropical jungle. An expedition to a remote temple is also a great way to see a bit of 'real Cambodia' away from more touristed areas. Tour operators specializing in trips to remote temples can organize transportation and guides as well as cultural tours, multi-day expe- ditions, village and jungle overnights. For specialty tour operators see page 70. temples outside main park area The Roluos Group (13km east of Siem Reap Town)

Roluos Group: The most impressive member of the Roluos Group , sitting at the center of the first Angkorian capital, Hariharalaya. Bakong stands 15 meters tall and is 650x850m at the outer wall. Constructed by the third Angkorian-era king as his state-temple, Bakong represents the first application of the temple-mountain architectural formula on a grand scale and set the architectural tone for the next

400 years. The temple displays a very early use of stone rather than brick. Though begun by Indravarman I, Bakong received additions and was expanded by later kings. The uppermost section and tower may have been added as late as the 12th century AD. Some of the lintel carvings, particularly on the outer towers, are in very good shape. Picturesque moat and vegetation surround Bakong .


Preah Ko

Constructed: Late 9 th century C.E.

Religion: Hindu (Shiva)

King/Patron: Indravarman I Style: Preah Ko Roluos Group . Six towers displaying set on a platform, all beautifully pre- served carvings. Originally surrounded by walls and gopuras of which only vestiges remain. Preah Ko was o ne 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.

R)asaTlél Religion: Hindu


Constructed: Late 9 th century C.E. King/Patron: Yasovarman I

Style: Preah Ko/Bakheng Roluos Group : Ruins of an island-temple built in the middle of a now dry baray, Indratataka, the first large-scale baray constructed by a Khmer king. Lolei consists of four brick towers on a double laterite platform. It was the last major temple built at Roluos before Yasovarman I moved the capital to the Angkor area. Though the towers are in poor condition, there are some lintel carvings in very good condition displaying the distinctively detailed Preah Ko style. An active pagoda has been built amongst the ruins. Of the Roluos Group ruins, allocate the least time Lolei . See ‘ Roluos Group ’ and ‘Barays’.

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