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