Ta Prohm BUDDHIST TEMPLE
The ultimate Indiana Jones fantasy, Ta Prohm is cloaked in stippled gloominess , its collapsing towers and walls locked in the sluggish , brawny embrace of enormous root systems. If Angkor Wat, the Bayon and other temples are testimony to the mastermind of the ancient Khmers, Ta Prohm reminds us equally of the great fertility and power of the forest . There is a graceful cycle to this respected , with humanity first conquering natural world to promptly create, and natural world once again conquering humanity to gradually devastate .
Built from 1186 and firstly known as Rajavihara (Monastery of the King), Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple devoted to the mother of Jayavarman VII. Ta Prohm is a temple of towers, close courtyards and narrow corridors. Ancient trees tower overhead, their leaves filtering the daylight and casting a greenish pall over the whole view . It is the nearest most of us should get to feeling the charm of the travellers of old.
Phnom Bakheng HINDU TEMPLE
About 400m south of Angkor Thom, that hill’s primary draw is the sunset view of Angkor Wat, although this has turned into something of a circus, with hundreds of visitors jockeying for space. The temple, built by Yasovarman I (r 889–910), has five tiers with seven levels.
Preah Khan BUDDHIST TEMPLE
(Sacred Sword) The temple of Preah Khan (Sacred Sword) is one of the greatest constructions at Angkor, a maze of vaulted corridors, fine carvings and lichen-clad stonework. Built by Jayavarman VII, it contains a very large area, but the temple itself is within a rectangular wall of nearly 700m by 800m. Preah Khan is a genuine combination temple, the eastern entrance dedicated to Mahayana Buddhism, with equal-sized doors, and the other cardinal directions devoted to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, with successively smaller doors, emphasising the unequal nature of Hinduism.
Preah Neak Poan BUDDHIST TEMPLE
Another late-12th-century work of – no surprises here – Jayavarman VII, this petite temple just east of Preah Khan has a large square pool surrounded by four smaller square pools, with a circular ‘island’ in the middle. Water once flowed from the central pond into the four peripheral pools via four ornamental spouts, in the shape of an elephant’s head, a horse’s head, a lion’s head and a human head.
Roluos Group HINDU TEMPLE
The monuments of Roluos, which served as the capital for Indravarman I (r 877–89), are among the earliest large eternal temples built by the Khmers and mark the dawn of Khmer classical art. Preah Ko, dedicated to Shiva, has elaborate inscriptions in Sanskrit on the doorposts of each tower and some of the best surviving examples of Angkorian plasterwork. The city’s central temple, Bakong, with its five-tier central pyramid of sandstone, is a representation of Mt Meru. Roluos is 13km southeast of Siem Reap along NH6.