Bakong, Prei Monti, Preah Ko, Lolei, Phnom Bakheng

The second day of our tour will be a transition from the capital Hariharalaya (Roluos) to Yashodharapura (Area near Phnom Bakheng).

You will first visit four temples in the Hariharalaya and next contemplate the scenery from the top of the Phnom Bakheng temple of the new Yashodharapura Capital. The temple was actually the state-temple at that time. It is the most favorite sunset spot for tourists.

Hariharalaya or Roluos is situated about 13 kilometers East of Siem Reap town.

The construction of Bakong and Prei Monti may have been started under the reign of Jayavarman III (c.835-877). Bakong gained its actual form under the reign of Indravarman (877-c.889).

Besides Bakong temple, the king built Preah Ko temple and the first large-scale reservoir called Indratataka “reservoir of Indra” (named after the king’s name). Preah Ko temple has six towers displayed on a platform and well-preserved carvings whereas Bakong represents the first application of the temple-mountain architectural formula on a grand scale maybe to be a suitable place to house a royal Shiva-linga in 881 A.D.

The son of the king, named Yashovarman, built the Lolei temple consisting of four brick towers on a double laterite platform, in the middle of the now dry reservoir Indratataka.

Prei Monti temple consists of three brick sanctuaries built on a small mound surrounded by a moat. The temple’s main interest is a large rectangular-shaped cistern or urn (three meters long and two meters wide). The real purpose of this unique structure is unknown; we wonder if it was once used as a recipient of ablution as evidenced by some urns of smaller sizes displayed at the National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh.

After your visit of Roluos, you can go to Phnom Bakheng, a state-temple of the new capital Yashodharapura, built on the top of a mountain where the Shiva-linga cult took place. The central tower of Phnom Bakheng was surrounded by 108 towers, a highly symbolic number in Hindu mythology.

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