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Pre Rup Temple

Pre Rup temple is about 2 kilometers northeast of Srah Srang and about 500meters south of the east baray. The temple was built in 961 during the reign of King Rajendravarman, dedicating to Shiva Brahmanism. The boldness of the architectural design is superb and gives the temple fine balance, scale and proportion. The temple is close in style to the East Mebon, although it was built several years later. It is a temple-mountain symbolizing Mount Meru.

Up until now, Cambodians regards this temple as having funerary association, but its true function is uncertain. Nevertheless, the name Pre Rup recalls one of the rituals of cremation, in which the silhouette of the body of the decrease, outlined with its ashes, is successively represented accordingly to different orientation. Some archaeologists believe that the large vat located at the base of the east stairway to the central area used at cremations.

Constructed of laterite with brick towers, the plan is square and comprises two ramparts with gopuras places centrally in each wall. A platform o three narrow tiers serves as a pedestal for five towers, which are set out in quincunx-one in each corner and one in the center. The outer rampart there are two groups of three towers on each side of the entrance, the groups share a common base. Long halls are placed between the two ramparts. In the northeast corner there is a curious small square building built of large blocks of laterite and open on all four sides. The inscription describing the foundation of the temple was found near this building.

On the left and right sides of the east gopura of the second rampart there are libraries with high tower. They sheltered carved stones with motifs of the nine planets and the seven ascetics. In the center there is a vat between two rows of sandstone pillars. This platform was more likely to have been a base for a wooden structure or a platform for Shiva’s Mount Nandi.

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