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Ta Keo

Listed under Temples in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

  • Photo of Ta Keo
  • Photo of Ta Keo
  • Photo of Ta Keo
  • Photo of Ta Keo
  • Photo of Ta Keo
  • Photo of Ta Keo
Photo of Ta Keo
Photo by flickr user wakxy
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Shiva was cheated out of this temple, it was dedicated in around 1000, but for some reason it was never finished so has none of the ornate carvings of the Bayon or Angkor Wat. Work was stopped on it when a new king came into power ten years after the dedication, but some scholars think it was dropped after being hit by a lightning bolt which was interpreted as a bad omen. The towers at the top of the temple do rise to 50 metres off the ground so it is one of the tallest points around.

This is one of the ‘mountain style’ Khmer temples which were built upwards like pyramids or Mayan temples rather than flat and sprawling like nearby Ta Prohm. They generally represent Mount Meru, the home of the Hindu gods. In Ta Keo’s case it’s a very square and regular kind of mountain topped by five towers, one at each cardinal point and one in the centre. It’s a steep climb to the top along narrow walkways, much more compact than those of Angkor Wat, and when you start climbing you can’t actually see to the top.

The first temple to be built from sandstone it’s also the first temple to have a fully enclosed inner gallery. It suffers lack of visitor appeal for its stark decoration but its severity allows visitors to better appreciate the designing and architectural prowess of the Khmer people.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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