Angkor Wat Temple Guide S-W



Spean Thma

Spean Thma ("bridge of stone") was built on the former path of the Siem Reap River between Angkor Thom and the Eastern Baray and it was probably rebuilt after the Khmer period (around the 15th century), as it includes many reused sandstone blocks. Several other bridges on the same model are visible: in the Angkor site (Spean Memai) and at several locations of the former empire. On the road from Angkor to Beng Mealea, the Spean Praptos is one of the longest constructed bridges.

Srah Srang

Srah Srang is a baray opposite of Banteay Kdei. It was dug in the mid-10th century, by initiative of Kavindrarimathana, Buddhist minister of Rajendravarman II. It was later modified around the year 1200 by Jayavarman VII, who also added the laterite landing-stage at its western side, probably because the East Baray had been overwhelmed by sediment and had begun malfunctioning. French archeological expeditions have found a necropolis close to it. Srah Srang measures 700 by 350 m and is still partially flooded. As other barays, there was a temple standing on an artificial island in the middle of it. The landing-stage, opposite the entrance to Banteay Kdei, is a popular site for viewing the sunrise.

Ta Keo

Ta Keo is a temple-mountain, the first to be built entirely of sandstone by Khmer's. Ta Keo had to be the state temple of Jayavarman V, son of Rajendravarman, who had built Pre Rup. Like Pre Rup, it has five sanctuary towers arranged in a quincunx, built on the uppermost level of five-tier pyramid consisting of overlapping terraces, surrounded by moat, as a symbolic depiction of Mount Meru. It is considered an example of the so-called Kleang style.

Ta Nei

Ta Nei is a late 12th century stone temple, built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. Some scholars believe that the temple was constructed as a hospital. It is now in a fairly ruined state and approached only via a track through the forest.

Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm is the modern name of the temple, built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara. The temple was founded by the Khmer King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found: the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor's most popular temples with visitors. UNESCO inscribed Ta Prohm on the World Heritage List in 1992. The temple of Ta Prohm was used as a location in the film Tomb Raider. Although the film took visual liberties with other Angkorian temples, its scenes of Ta Prohm were quite faithful to the temple's actual appearance.

Ta Prohm Kel

Built in the Bayon style in the late 12th century, Ta Prohm Kel was the vault of one of the 102 hospitals built by Jayavarman VII. Inscriptions show that it is related to the legend of the paralyzed beggar who was cured at this place and flew away by overlapping the horse of Indra.

Ta Som

Ta Som was constructed at the end of the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII. The King dedicated the temple to his father Dharanindravarman II who was King of the Khmer Empire from 1150 to 1160. The temple consists of a single shrine located on one level and surrounded by enclosure laterite walls. Like the nearby Preah Khan and Ta Prohm the temple was left largely unrestored, with numerous trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins.

Tep Pranam

This temple was built at the end of the ninth century by king Yasovarman I and was originally a Buddhist shrine. It was expanded over the years with 12th century balustrades, 13th century lions and significant post-Angkorian modifications and additions. The Buddha statue at the western end is made from reused material.

Terrace of the Elephants

The Terrace of the Elephants is part of the walled city of Angkor Thom. The terrace was used by Angkor's King Jayavarman VII as a platform from which to view his victorious returning army. It was attached to the palace of Phimeanakas, of which only a few ruins remain. Most of the original structure was made of organic material and has long since disappeared. The 350m-long Terrace of Elephants was used as a giant reviewing stand for public ceremonies and served as a base for the king's grand audience hall. It has five outworks extending towards the Central Square-three in the center and one at each end. The middle section of the retaining wall is decorated with life size garuda and lions; towards either end are the two parts of the famous parade of elephants complete with their Khmer mahouts.

Terrace of the Leper King

The Terrace of the Leper King was built in the Bayon style under Jayavarman VII, though its modern name derives from a 15th-century sculpture discovered at the site. The statue depicts the Hindu god Yama, the god of death. The statue was called the "Leper King" because discolouration and moss growing on it was reminiscent of a person with leprosy, and also because it fit in with a Cambodian legend of an Angkorian king Yasovarman I who had leprosy.

Thma Bay Kaek

Thma Bay Kaek Temple is a small, insignificant Angkor ruin related to the nearby Prasat Bei. Both were built when Phnom Bakheng was the capital of Angkor. The spare remains of a brick prasat, now disappeared, leaving only a door frame, lintel and a bit of the terrace. A sacred relic of five gold leaves, one bearing the image of Nandi (Shiva’s bull), was discovered at this site.

Thommanon

Thommanon is one of a pair of Hindu temples built during the reign of Suryavarman II. This small and elegant temple is dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. Scholars studying the carvings of the devatas in Thommanon have concluded that Thommanon was built around the time when work on Angkor Wat was begun. The Vaishnavite cult was adopted in Cambodia by Jayavarman II and his son Jayavarman III. Under these two rulers, the shaivite cult was subsumed with the Vaishnavite cult in the temples such as the Thommaman, Beng, Melea, Chausey, Tevoda, Bantay Samre, and Angkor Vat.

Wat Athvea

Wat Althea is a 12th-century Hindu temple an active Buddhist temple and cemetery located adjacent to the walled ancient structure. The temple's design and the distinctive style of its devata (sacred female images) indicate that it was built during the reign of King Suryavarman II (circa 1115-1150 AD), who also built Angkor Wat. It is a kind of short temple, which stands on a low common sandstone base and one tower on top. It originally oriented to the west. This temple seems to have been left unfinished as evidenced in part by the lack of carvings, especially some Apsaras dancers were abandoned half finished. It is small, quiet temple which can afford a delightful undisturbed visit.

West Mebon

The West Mebon is located in the center of the West Baray, the largest reservoir of the Angkor area. The temple's date of construction is not known, but evidence suggests the 11th Century during the reign of King Suryavarman I or Udayadityavarman II. The carvings displayed on the single wall show some of the first examples of animals and non-mythological scenes. Khmer architects typically surrounded temples with moats that represent the Hindu sea of creation. The West Mebon, located amid waters so vast that they can seem like a real sea, takes this religious symbolism to the ultimate level.

Temples of Angkor

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