10 Must-See Temples in Siem Reap
1 Angkor Wat Angkor
Angkor Wat Angkor Wat, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1992, is Siem Reap’s most iconic temple site. placed among the expansive Angkor archeological Park, it absolutely was created throughout the twelfth century to worship the Lord Vishnu (a Hindu deity) and, per students, served as a ceremony temple for King Suryavarman II. Today, you’ll still see (and photograph) 5 lotus-like towers that stand sixty five metres tall and 2,000 stone carvings of Apsaras (celestial dancers).
2 Angkor Thom Angkor
Angkor Thom Angkor Thom or big Angkor was made by King Jayavarman VII (1181-1219) as the last capital town of the Angkorian era. the biggest site within the Angkor archeological Park, there are five 20-metre tall gates close Angkor Thom, with complex stone carvings of elephants and also the four faces of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara whereas causeways resulting in the gates are flanked with 108 statues of gods and demons. Notable temples found among Angkor Thom include Ba Yon Temple, Terrace of the Elephants, and Ta Phrohm Temple.
3 Ba Yon Temple
Ba Yon Temple features about fifty stone towers with four faces of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara sculpted on most of them. Set within the middle of Angkor Thom, it absolutely was inbuilt the late twelfth century to function the official state temple of Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII. that includes a serene expression, the stone carvings are simply the foremost recognizable structures of the traditional Khmer Kingdom, with every of the four faces measure at four metres tall and orienting toward the four points of the compass. Ba Yon Temple is additionally flanked by 2 long walls with complex bas-relief scenes of battlefields, markets, spiritual rituals, and cockfighting.
4 Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple gained international recognition once it was featured in each the film and game grave Raider. This tranquil religious residence was designed throughout the mid-12th century by King Jayavarman VII in commemoration of his mother. Fitted with 600 rooms, courtyards and galleries, it had been believed to possess housed a population of over 70,000 people, most of them being high priests, monks, assistants, dancers, and labourers. The ruins of Ta Prohm Temple are currently enveloped by vast trees and hanging vines, giving visitors the sensation of discovering a temple lost within the jungle.
5 Ba Phuon Temple
Ba Phuon Temple is a three-tiered temple mountain that was inbuilt honour of the Hindu God Shiva and served because the state temple of Udayadityavarman II throughout the mid-11th century. situated northwest of Ba Yon Temple, its pyramid-like form is an field illustration of the legendary Mount Meru. Despite many restoration makes an attempt, a lot of of Ba Phuon Temple had mostly collapsed by the twentieth century. visitors will still notice distinctive animal carvings at the doorway to the central sanctuary.
6 Preah Khan
The Preah Khan (Sacred Sword) temple complicated is encircled by a eminent trench with its walls decorated with carvings of garudas, a bird-like mythical being in Hindu mythology. Dedicated by the King Jayavarman VII to his father in 1191, it homes maze-like entryways, towers, ceremonial spaces, courtyards, and shrines. Its standout features are the two-storey pavilion and Hall of Dancers, where you’ll see pictures of Apsara dancers on its pillars. placed 2 kilometres northeast of Angkor Thom, Preah Khan has been left in a mostly unreconstructed state, allowing various trees, vines, and numerous vegetation growing among the ruins.
7 Terrace of the Elephants
The Terrace of the Elephants within the centre of Angkor Thom features lovely bas-relief scenes of elephants and garudas, creating it one amongst the foremost photographed sites in Angkor archeological Park. utilized by King Jayavarman VII as viewing platform for public ceremonies throughout the late twelfth century, the striking terrace measures at 300 metres long and 2 and a half-metres tall. The northern a part of the Terrace of the Elephants is fitted with sculptures of a 5 headed horse, Apsara dancers and Khmer warriors.
8 Phnom Bakheng (Bakheng Hill)
Phnom Bakheng (Bakheng Hill) major temple to be designed after the capital was moved from Roluos throughout the ninth century. made over 2 centuries before the long-lasting Angkor Wat, this temple mountain represents Mount Meru, home of the Hindu gods and also served as the state temple of King Yasovarman I. Despite its imposing height and slender staircase, Phnom Bakheng is extremely common for sunrise and sunset viewing amongst tourists as its peak location offers spectacular views of the encompassing country.
9 Prasat Bantaey Srei
Prasat Bantaey Srei Prasat Banteay Srei may be a tenth century Hindu temple that boasts some of the foremost well-preserved relics in Siem Reap. unlike the temples in Angkor archeological Park, it was designed by a Brahmin counsellor to King Rajendravarman. regionally called the ‘citadel of the ladies,’ Prasat Banteay Srei is fitted with pink sandstones and three-dimensional carvings of scenes from the Ramayana epic, in addition as feminine deities (devatas) in ancient apparel carrying lotus flowers on every hand. It takes regarding an hour to induce to there by taxi, but it’s a must-visit for those trying to explore a lot of temples beyond downtown Siem Reap.
10 Koh Ker
Koh Ker Koh Ker, situated eighty kilometres northeast of Siem Reap, was the capital of the Khmer Empire between 928AD and 944AD. It’s the second largest temple city when Angkor, housing virtually a hundred temple ruins but the foremost impressive structure here is Prasat Thom, a large seven-tiered temple complex. Spanning thirty six metres tall, the stairway to high offers breathless views of Koh Ker, although it’s accessible to a restricted number of holiday makers. It will take over 2 hours to drive to Koh Ker from Siem Reap therefore it’s less visited than several other temple ruins within the area.