Ta Prohm Kel
Ta Prohm Kel
Reign: Jayavarman VII
Visit: 10 mins
This small ruined sandstone momument was one of the 102 chapels added to hospitals, some of which were already in existence, by Jayavarman VII all over the empire. The sanctuary, with is now collapsed tower, opened to the E and had false doors on the other three sides. It was preceded by a small sandstone (gopara a little to the E, of which traces remain. The decoration is in the style of the Bayon with (devatas) and small roundels enclosing figures. A (somasutra), or channel for draining lustral water out of the shrine, exited through the N wall of the sanctuary. (Photo: Paisarn Piemmettawat)
Date: Late 9th to early 10th century( dedicated about 907)
Reign: Yasovarman I
Visit: 1hr, including climb
As the state temple of the first city at Angkor, Phnom Bakheng has a special importance, even though many of its buildings are in poor condition. It was to here that Yasovarman I moved his capital from Roluos, 13 km southeast of seam reap. The city, called Yasodharappura, was 4km square( larger than the later Angkor Thom) andenclosed by en earth bank. It was centred on the isolated hill of Phnom Bakheng.
With some important difference, Bakheng imitates the temple of ascending square terraces surrounded by subsidiary sanctuary towers. Work began at the end of the 9th century, the (Linga )of the central shrine was dedicated in about 907, but building continued after that . the name of the divinity and of the temple was Yasodhareavara “ the Lord of (the one) Who bears Glory” It was abandoned after 928, but briefly rehabilitated in about 968 by Jayavarman V.
*** Highlight ***
- State temple of the first capital at Angkor
- Spectacular views, particularly of Angkor Wat
There was an outer enclosure surrounding the hill, in the form of a rectangular moat 650mx436m; parts of its earth bank survive. At the foot of the hill were points; some of their foundations can still be traced. Stairways lead up from the E,N, and W (gopuras), Though oddly not from the S(there may not have been enough time to complete all four) The E entrance was the principal one, and at the foot of the staircase are the remains of two large guardian lions.
The temple itself occupies the summit, which was first substantially leveled, leaving a pyramid of rock in the centre from which the terraces were cut. In addition, the core of the temple has been carved as a stepped pyramid from the hill itself, as can be seen from the SW side. The 13m – high pyramid , set back soightly ot the W in the enclosure , is made of five terraces, the lowest if which is 76m square, the topmost 47m square. Around the base if the pyramid are 44 brick towers in groups of 2,3 and 4. On the terraces of the pyramid above are another 60 tiny towers in sandstone, arranged symmetrically(Pairs flanking each stairway, and one on each corner if each terrace), On the summit itself was a quincunx of towers built on a low platform, 1.60m high, 31m square, and set back slightly tower, Which subsumes the rest. The number 108 is considered sacred according to Hindu and, indeed, Buddhist cosmogony.