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Koh Ker Temple

Koh Ker was once an an ancient capital of Cambodia, located in Srayong Cheung village, Srayong commune, Kulen district, about 49 kilometers west of the provincial town. The Koh Ker complex is on the Chhork Koki highland. It was built by King Jayavarman IV (AD 928-942). Koh Ker temple is 35meters high, and its design resembles as seven-stepped stupa. The temple faces west toward Angkor City. It was built to worship Treypuvanesvara, the god of happiness.

So far, 96 temples have been found in Koh Ker: Dav, Rumlum Bey, Beung Veng, Trapiang Prey, Day Chhang, Srok Srolao, Lingam, Kuk Srakum, trapiang Ta, Sophy, Krahom, Andoung, Ang Khna, Teuk Krahom, Kamrei Sar, Krarab, Banteay Pichoan, Kuk, Kmao, Thneung, Thom Balang, Pram, Bat, Khnar Chen, Klum, Chrab, Dangtung, Prang, Kampiang…

These temples were not constructed near each other. Today, many of them are no longer standing, and some are buried in the ground. The followings are located are descriptions of some of the Koh Ker temple.

Koh Ker temple about 300meters farther to the west in Kampiang or Koh Ker temple. From a distance, the temples look like a small hill, because it is covered by forest. Up close, however, it is actually a 35meters hight stupa made of sandstone. It has seven levels, each level about 5meters wide terrace. And there is a 55 step staircase to the top. At the top of the temple, there are large statues of garudas supporting Shiva lingam Treypuvanesvara. Nearby, there is a 4-meter square well, now completely covered by grass. According to local villagers, if a coconut is dripped into this well, it will appear in the pond near Neang Khnao temple. There is vegetation growing on top of the temple, and from there visitor have an excellent view of the surrounding landscape, in particular, Phnom Dangrek, Phnom Tbeng and Phnum Kulen district.

To the north of Koh Ker temple is another temple, Damsei Sar temple, but is heavily damaged. To the northeast, is lingam temple. This temple once housed three Shiva lingams, but some are now damaged.