A photo tour of the Pre Rup, Kravan, Ta Som and Neak Pean temples at Angkor

Prasat Kravan at Angkor in Cambodia
The bas-reliefs of Vishnu and Lakshmi are the only ones in brick in the Angkor area

These four temples are some of the lesser-known at the Angkor Archaeological Park. They’re located on the outer edge of what’s known as the Grand Tour Circuit. My favorite of the four is Ta Som where there is a large tree that’s engulfing the gopura, or outer wall entrance, on the east (or back) entrance.

Pre Rup

Built in the temple mountain style in the late 10th century under the reign of Rajendravarman VII, Pre Rup has a great view of the surrounding area. It was the second temple built after the return of the Khmer capital to Angkor, from Koh Ker, after a brief period of political upheaval. Pre Rup recently had wooden bannisters installed to help with the climb up the steep steps. Since it’s on the way, stop at Pre Rup, when heading further out to Banteay Srei. Plan 20 to 30 minutes for your visit.

Pre Rup at Angkor in Cambodia

Pre Rup is a temple mountain style built in the 10th century

Pre Rup at Angkor in Cambodia

Temple mountain style temples, for the most part, have long, steep stairs to climb. Pre Rup recently had handrails put in place.

Pre Rup at Angkor in Cambodia

At the top of Pre Rup, five towers are arranged in a quincunx – one at each corner of the square and one at the center.

Pre Rup at Angkor in Cambodia

Pre Rup has a commanding view of the countryside from its top level

Pre Rup at Angkor in Cambodia

Pre Rup is on the road to Banteay Srei. Take about 20 minutes to stop and visit this temple which is one of the older ones in the area.

 

Prasat Kravan

This is quite a different looking temple than the others. It’s small and has five towers with only the central one reaching close to its original height. It doesn’t receive many visitors and only takes 20 to 30 minutes to walk through. It has some nice bas-reliefs of Vishnu and Lakshmi – the only ones in brick in the Angkor area. It was built in the early 10th century as a Hindu temple under the reign of Harshavarman I. Plan 20 to 30 minutes for your visit.

Prasat Kravan at Angkor in Cambodia

Prasat Kravan, as it’s known, was built in the early 10th century as a Hindu temple

Prasat Kravan at Angkor in Cambodia

There are five east-facing brick towers at Prasat Kravan

Prasat Kravan at Angkor in Cambodia

The bas-reliefs of Vishnu and Lakshmi are the only ones in brick in the Angkor area

Prasat Kravan at Angkor in Cambodia

Only the middle tower is at full height. The other four have collapsed to some degree.

Prasat Kravan at Angkor in Cambodia

Prasat Kravan is not a large temple. It has beautiful bas-relief carvings

Ta Som

This is one of my favorite of the lesser-known temples. I love the east-facing gate that’s on the other side from the main entrance. There’s a large tree that’s engulfing the gopura which makes for a great photo op when the morning sun is hitting it. Ta Som was built in the late 12th century under the reign of Jayavarman VII. Plan 45 minutes to an hour for your visit.

Ta Som at Angkor in Cambodia

The gopura, or outer wall entrance, to Ta Som. Notice the stone faces, on top, each facing a cardinal point.

Ta Som at Angkor in Cambodia

Early morning is a great time to visit Ta Som as the sunlight brings out its bold colors

Ta Som at Angkor in Cambodia

Built in the late 12th century, Ta Som has numerous corridors to walk through

Ta Som at Angkor in Cambodia

Early morning – a great time for photos

Ta Som at Angkor in Cambodia

The back side of Ta Som

Ta Som at Angkor in Cambodia

This is one of the best (and least known) photo ops in all of Angkor

Ta Som at Angkor in Cambodia

This gate is on the back end (east entrance) so the morning is the best time to get a photo

Ta Som at Angkor in Cambodia

One of the outer buildings on the back side of Ta Som

Neak Pean

This is sometimes called the island temple. It is reached by walking on a thin strip of dirt that separates a baray (or small lake). The baray has dead trees that are lying in the water. Neak Pean was quite different to me than any of the other temples I have visited at Angkor. It was built in the late 12th century under the reign of Jayavarman VII. Plan 20 to 30 minutes to visit.

Neak Pean at Angkor in Cambodia

Neak Pean is known as the island temple since it sits in the middle of one of the barays (small lakes) of the Khmer empire

Neak Pean at Angkor in Cambodia

Sitting at the end of a long dirt walkway separating two sections of a baray or small lake, this is one of the most unusual temples at Angkor

 

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