Koh Ker is the second largest temple complex in Cambodia, behind that of Angkor Wat. Therefore, if you travel to this Asian country, you should not miss the opportunity to discover this fabulous place. It is just over 100 kilometers from the city of Siem Reap. Are you accompanying us on this trip to the past?
But before starting the tour, a little clarification. Koh Ker is the modern name of an important city of the Khmer Empire, a powerful kingdom settled mainly in Cambodia, but with a presence in other countries such as Thailand or Vietnam. In fact, it was their former capital.
Prasat Prang, the most important temple in Koh Ker
Of all the constructions or ruins that Koh Ker houses, the temple of Prasat Prang stands out especially. In it, a double pyramidal sanctuary stands out . It is 62 meters wide and more than 30 meters high, divided into seven levels. And it is that, surely, this was the temple of the state of Jayavarman IV.
But Prasar Prang is much more, it is a complex that follows a linear plane 800 meters long. From east to west we find an immense entrance pavilion and the ruins of two laterite towers. We will also see Prasat Krahom, a red brick tower and a surrounding wall with two courtyards.
In the eastern courtyard is the Prasat Thom temple complex, many of which probably date from before the 10th century BC. Also the moat, lined by various trees, offers a most picturesque picture. Within it there are two dams.
Meanwhile, behind the courtyard where the pyramid is located there is an artificial hill that is called the white elephant’s tomb. Some say that it could be the base of a second pyramid or even that it could be the tomb of Jayavarman IV.
Other interesting ruins in Koh Ker
Koh Ker, which extends over an area of 80 km², is home to almost 200 temples. However, of all of them, today only a little more than a dozen can be visited. Among them would be the already mentioned Prasat Prang or Prasat Thom, also Prasat Krachap, which is reached after walking along a path.
You will find some of the temples along the access road or the ring road. Stop to admire them. Look at Prast Leung, where you will see a Siva lingam, one of the best preserved in the entire country.
Another corner that must be mentioned is Prasat Neang Khmau, the temple of the black walls. And in Koh Ser you will see 30 structures of great interest and importance that you should not miss.
Practical information for your visit
The best way not to lose detail of everything that this place hides is to take a guided tour. Some are organized in Spanish. They last one day and the price will depend on the number of people, but it can be around 289 US dollars.
In this itinerary, in addition, you can discover the mysterious temple of Beang Malea . A place as beautiful as it is disturbing. Here, neglect has caused tree roots and verdigris to “eat” walls and structures.
And, going back to Koh Ker, note that it is possible to climb to the top of the Prang pyramid. It is thanks to a new staircase, since the original ones of the construction, as well as the bamboo one that was placed in the 20th century, are inaccessible due to the conditions in which they are found.
We hope that after knowing the historical importance of Koh Ker, as well as all the treasures that it hides, and that are not few, you will be encouraged to visit it. Also remember that, although it is a less known archaeological site than Angkor Wat, it is worth going out of your way to visit it, you will not regret it.