Thursday, February 12, 2009

Temple mountains

Lets take a closer look at two of the temples I flew over on Tuesday morning in the two-seater microlite. The top one is Pre Rup, built in 961 and one of the most important temple mountains as it marks the transition from the pre-classic to the classic period of Angkor. It consists of two terraces, on the second of which is a three-tier pyramid. At the top, the central tower is flanked by four corner towers, all in brick. The central shrine would've housed a linga dedicated to Shiva. Below the upper tier are twelve smaller towers and on the ground floor, are another five larger brick towers, opening to the east and catching the rising sun as can be seen in the picture. One unusual feature of Pre Rup, where a sunset view across the surrounding ricefields is worth considering, is the presence of a sarcophagus, though some scholars debate this feature.
Also dedicated to Shiva, East Mebon was constructed in 952, so is older than Pre Rup and used to be in the centre of a huge, now dry, baray. Known for its elephant statues, East Mebon has three terraces with the five brick towers of the upper tier, open to the east with remains of stucco and some particularly fine lintels. Both temples are pre-cursors to the intricacies of the Banteay Srei style and the great temple constructions of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Andy, image how the Pre Rup, the East Mebon, the Bakong in Roulous, etc, just to name a few used to be seen as huge until the contructions of Angkor Wat and the Bayon later were conceived. I mean these monuments are huge contruction works; it is seeing in personal that really capture the imagination at all as picture on a computer screen or on a postcard cannot capture all of their immense and stunning real status. For me, that was what so amazing about visit the Angkor Archaeological Park, the immense beautiful that only seeing and being there can capture it all; and it kept luring me back again again like some sort of magic or something. I, too, love all things Khmer as well. God Bless.

February 13, 2009 2:23 AM  
Anonymous Lena said...


These are some amazingly stunning pictures of the temples and surrounds. Never-before viewed from new perspectives and height!

Not presently in SR but a ride on the microlite will be on the schedule on my next visit.

Thanks for sharing.

February 13, 2009 9:14 AM  

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