Preah Ko Temple - Roluos Group

Preah Ko
The central sanctuary platform of Preah Ko.

Preah Ko is the earliest temple still existing of the Roluos group, one of the first seats of the Khmer empire. The structure was built by king Indravarman I as a funerary temple for the king's parents, maternal grandparent and king Jayavarman II.

The central sanctuary consists of six towers of various sizes rising from a relatively low stone base. Although much smaller, the basic structure is highly reminiscent of the Hindu temple complex of central Java, the Prambanan. In fact, Jayavarman II appears to have spent some time in the court of the great kings of Java who built the Prambanan. Whether as a 'guest' or a hostage isn't clear.

While badly decayed, there are still several fine details that can be discerned at Preah Ko. In front of the central sanctuary platform are three statues of bulls - nandi the white bull and mount of Shiva. The Khmer word for 'bull' - ko - gives the temple its name. Beside the doors into each of the tower shrines are finely detailed guardians in various poses.

Note: Although removed from the main Angkor Archaeological Park, you must still posses a valid admission pass to visit Preah Ko.