April 18, 2017

Koh Ker

Koh Ker is a whole temple town, the second largest of the ancient Khmer civilization. Due to its remote location, Koh Ker can still be called a "lost city in the jungle". It remains to be an off the beaten track destination, though it's indeed one of the most amazing excavation sites you can imagine.

Koh Ker has at least 180 temples, but most of them are only small heaps in the jungle and not accessible due to landmines, the 20 most significant monuments are safe, all of them are located at a ring road.

In the 10th century Koh Ker was a rival of Angkor. Almost all temples in Koh Ker were built during a period of only a few decades. 

Many temples of Koh Ker had already been built in the decade before Koh Ker became the capital in 928. The ambitious local ruler of Koh Ker had even erected a Shiva-Lingam, a symbol of supreme royal power, on the temple mountain Prasat Prang, which, at that point in time, was the tallest pyramid built by the Khmer civilization and belonged to the (then) largest Khmer temple complex, Prasat Thom.

Because his nephew, Angkor's King Ishanavarman II, died childless, Koh Ker's principal became the new ruler of the whole Angkor empire. Soon after ascending the throne in Angkor the new king Jayavarman IV decided to shift the capital to his hometown Koh Ker, which was called Chok Gargyar or sometimes Lingapura in contemporary inscriptions.


Here's some pics of Prasat Thom & Prasat Prang


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