Today was the last day at Angkor and I had 11 temples on my Angkor Day 3 list. Looked like a daunting task but possible with an early start. I already had a motorcycle to cut short the time duration between temples.
This article will be more of temple names and pictures. I would recommend reading Wikipedia or other articles for more details about the history, significance and the structure.
Prasat Kravan: First on the list was Prasat Kravan. This Hindu temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. There are three images of Vishnu carved on the interior walls of the shrine.
This is the eight-armed Vishnu carving. The other two shrines have four-armed Vishnu carvings.
Banteay Kdei: Banteay Kdei is a 12th century Buddhist temple constructed during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. This temple is not usually on the list of tourists but it is a beautiful temple and definitely worth a visit.
There are many such beautiful Apsara carvings in this temple.
Srah Srang: Srah Srang is exactly opposite Banteay Kdei. It is not a temple but an elevated platform facing the water reservoir. This can be good spot to view sunrise or sunset.
Ta Keo: Ta Keo has a pyramid like structure with overlapping terraces. It is said that the temple was unfinished as it was struck by lightning, which was considered to be an evil omen.
Pre Rup: Pre Rup was built in 961 AD during the reign of the King Rajendravarman and is a Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. It has a steep climb but offers excellent panoramic view from the top.
East Mebon: East Mebon and Pre Rup were both built during the reign of the King Rajendravarman and have similar structure. They are also referred as the Twin Temples.
Ta Som – popular mainly because of this big tree structure. So expect lots of people posing around it.
Entry Gate before Bayon temple
Bayon temple: Bayon is a Buddhist temple built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. This is one of the most beautiful temples of Angkor and for me, this was the best of all the temples, considering the intricacy of carvings. The stone carvings especially the stone faces are absolutely gorgeous.
Statue of Nandi. Known to be the vehicle of Lord Shiva, it is common to find statues of Nandi outside Shiva temples. This one is outside Phnom Bakheng.
Restoration work in progress on the structure of Phnom Bakheng
Phnom Bakheng: Another Hindu temple dedicated to Lord Shiva. There is a 15 min upward walk from the main road to reach this temple. It is also a popular spot to view the sunset.
Angkor Wat: And finally, the most popular of all, Angkor Wat. This grand Hindu temple was built during the reign of King Suryavaram II and is dedicated to Lord Vishnu. This is also a popular temple for the sunrise view. Read more about my experience trying to catch the sunrise view – Angkor Day 1
Sunrise view from my 1st day visit
Statue of Lord Vishnu
Gardens on the rear side of Angkor Wat
Some ruins behind the Angkor Wat temple
The rear side view of Angkor Wat
Feeling exhausted and blessed after finally visiting this majestic structure of this planet 🙂
I am usually not that excited by man-made structures but the last three days have been absolutely marvelous even with the huge number of tourists. I also managed to squeeze in some off-beaten paths by doing a bit of off-road motorcycling to visit Srah Damrei (Angkor Day 2). The best way to do justice to your Angkor trip is to read about the temples before you visit. Even if you are planning to hire guides, indulge in a small history lesson and understand significance of each temple. This pre-visit learning exercise can really make your visit worthwhile. Or you might just end up complaining like an ignorant tourist – “They all look the same.”