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Koh Ker

Koh KerKoh Ker is an ancient temple city in the northeastern part of Cambodia. Perhaps due to its mystical and mostly scary history, this landmark of the Khmer empire is undeservedly forgotten city. Though not so long ago it was opened to tourists, though the full-quality road is still missing, moreover it has not been fully cleared from the minefields around - so there are relatively few tourists who dare to visit this place. 

For public visit Koh Ker is only open from 2002. Once Koh Ker was the capital of Cambodia for nearly twenty years. Despite such a short period in and around the city were built around hundreds of temples and shrines.

Koh Ker was founded by king Jayavarman IV. He had no right of direct inheritance (although at the time the legacy of the maternal line was still possible) and presented his claim to the throne, bypassing the direct heir. As a result, the throne was seized by force. According to the legend, Jayavarman IV in order to gain the power was forced to make a deal with the devil himself, who in exchange for power demanded human sacrifices.

Koh KerWithin that existed at the time capital such actions were impossible, and the king decided to ground his own city, and to declare it his capital. Whether it was all true or not, but he really was one of the most brutal Khmer rulers, and after his death a few years later the capital was moved back to Angkor - as people do not want to live in a city of King and demon collusion.

Koh Ker was built on an artificial pond Rohal, the proximity of water is very important for human civilization, so with no nearby water reservoirs it was impossible to build the city. The temples were built in honor of the god Shiva - Hinduism was then the dominant religion during that time. Who knows, maybe Jayavarman IV and was in collusion with the devil, but in any case the number of buildings that were built in such a short time in Koh Ker is truly amazing, as the King made the city prosper in its own way in a very short period of time and this was not observed in any other ancient city. The most famous and best preserved buildings of Koh Ker - is Prasat Thom, Prasat Krahom and Prasat Prang.        

Look the beautifull video tour of Koh Ker:

Prasat Thom

Seven storied pyramid of Prasat Thom in Koh Ker remains the most mysterious and enigmatic. Most of the tourists arriving in Koh Ker want to see exactly this place. The pyramid is surrounded by a number of mystical legends: that in the center of the pyramid there was a mine that was a "bridge" between the earth and hell. In this mine Jayavarman IV has made the sacrifices to his demon. Rumors say that the people, who were descended into the pit of the pyramid, lose their minds and can no longer continue to live the same life.

Prasat Krahom

Prasat Krahom is a unique red-brick tower. The specific feature of this place is that formerly it hosted the statue of the Dancing Shiva. The statue was at the same time scary and beautiful, as it had five heads and ten arms. Unfortunately in the old times the statue was broken completely and rest of it are now preserved by the state authorities.

Prasat Prang

Prasat Prang is a small temple, the walk around which takes about 10-15 minutes. It is rare to see tourists in this place, so you will have an amazing opportunity to make "clean" photos. Construction of the temple is poorly preserved, as the wild nature has grown through the old stone structures.

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