Koh Ker Temple


Koh Ker is a remote archaeological site in northern Cambodia about 160 kilometers away from Siem Reap and the ancient site of Angkor 5mg cialis. Although than 180 sanctuaries were found in a protected area of 81 square kilometers, tourists can visit only about 24 monuments because most of the sanctuaries are hidden by the jungle and the whole area has not been fully de-mined.

Koh Ker is the modern name for an important city of the Khmer empire. In inscriptions, the town is mentioned as Lingapua (City of Lingas) or Chok Gargyar (sometimes translated as City of Glance, or as Iron Tree Forest).

Under the reign of the kings Jayavarman IV and Harshavarman II, Koh Ker was briefly the capital of the whole empire (928–944 AD). Jayavarman IV forged an ambitious building program: An enormous water tank and about 40 temples were constructed under his rule. Unlike most of the temples of the Khmer kings, the most significant temple complex, a double sanctuary, follows a linear plan and not a concentric one. Unparalleled is the seven tiered and 36 meter high pyramid, which most probably served as the state temple of Jayavarman IV. The shrines with the 2 meter high lingas (phallic symbols) are really impressive.

The style of Koh Ker was developed under the reign of Jayavarman IV, where the art of sculpting reached its pinnacle, with a great variety of wonderful statues being chiseled.

Because of its remoteness, the site of Koh Ker Temple was plundered many times by looters. Today, sculptures of Koh Ker can be found not only in different museums but also in private collections around the world and masterpieces of Koh Ker are occasionally offered at auctions. In present times, these pieces are considered stolen art.

Koh Ker Temple is about 2.5 hours away from Siem Reap and basic visitors’ facilities are now being built. Since 1992, Koh Ker is on UNESCO’s tentative world heritage list.