After the Khmer empire had been
established in the Angkor area (Roluos), Jayavarman IV moved
the capital in 928 almost 100km northeast to Koh Ker. Here
a vast number of temples were built under his reign, until
his successor returned to the Angkor area about twenty years
The Koh Ker site is dominated by Prasat Thom, a 30 meter
tall temple mountain raising high above the plain and the
surrounding forest. Great views await the visitor at the
end of an adventurous climb. Garuda,
carved into the stone blocks, still guard the very top,
although they are partially covered now.
Across the site of Koh Ker there are many prasat or tower
sanctuaries. A couple still feature an enormous linga
on a yoni that provides
space for several people. The outlet for the water that
was sanctified by running it over the linga can be seen
in the outside wall of one of them. In other cases, three
prasat stand next to each other, dedicated to Brahma,
Shiva and Vishnu.
Most of them are surrounded by libraries and enclosures,
many also had moats. At that time, the roofs were still
made of wood. Today, only the holes for the beams remain
in the stone structures.
The site is still 3 hours away from Siemreap, the area
has been demined only recently and basic visitors' facilities
are just being built. This makes Koh Ker very attractive
for anyone who would like to experience lonely temples partially
overgrown by the forest and inhabited only by birds, calling
to each other from the trees above.
information on the Koh Ker style
Prasat Thom, the 30 meter high temple mountain presiding
over Koh Ker
Fragment of Nandin or Sacred Bull sculpture