Koh Ker is a massive archaeological site located in Preah Vihear, Cambodia. It is coated is located quite a bit far from the popular temples in Siem Reap, and is seated at the northern area of the province. It is considered one of the major ancient sites of Angkor, and it is known for being a jungle filled region, sparsely populated.
An Important City
“Koh Ker” is actually a modern name for the important city during the Khmer empire. Based on the inscriptions, the town is often referred to as Lingapura or Cook Gargyar.
This town was actually the capital of the entire empire for a brief period of time, during 928 to 944 A.D., under King Jayavarman IV and King Harshavarman II. During the rule of the former, he enforced a rather ambitious building program. This was the creation of an enormous water tank, and even the construction of approximately 40 temples during his time.
Prang, Koh Ker
Among the many archaeological finds that Koh Ker has is its iconic and unusual structure named Prang. The seven-tiered pyramid structure is located deep within the jungle, and towers proudly up to 36 meters high. It easily dwarves the lesser-known sites in the area, often becoming the landmark when referring to Koh Ker.
Upon entering the sandstone entrance, the moss-covered ruins is easily to navigate, and visitors can easily see the prayer areas that were built for noble kings. It somewhat joins Prasat Thom as part of the temple complex, and even has a moat.
A collection of temples and shrines
Koh Ker is a mix of temples and shrines, all of which have a story to tell. When on a trip going up to Kulen mountain, travelers can spend time checking out the known and lesser known temples in the area.
Apart from Prang, some of the areas of note in Koh Ker include:
- Prasat Thom
- Tomb of the White Elephant
- Prasat Pram
- Prasat Neang Khmau
- Prasat Bak
- Prasat Chen
- Prasat Balang
- Prasat Thneng
- Leung Bye
- Prasat Andong Kuk
- Prasat Krachap
- Prasat Banteay Pee Chean
- Prasat Chrap
- Prasat Damrei