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Updated by Joanna James on Feb 11, 2018
Headline for Undiscovered Temples in Cambodia's – Mysterious Ruins of Khmer History
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Undiscovered Temples in Cambodia's – Mysterious Ruins of Khmer History

Cambodia is known for its spectacular temples built during the days of the Khmer Dynasty. Many of these temples still stand pound today, waiting to be discovered and explored by eager travelers.

1

Pre Rup

Pre Rup

Regarded as being a miniature Angkor Wat, the Pre Rup temple in Angkor is one of the most extraordinary temples in the area. Believed to have been constructed in the year 961 AD by King Rajendravarman, this elaborate temple complex was dedicated to the Hindu deity Shiva. The temple itself was built of grey and pink sandstone and was said to have been covered with painting and murals, almost all of which have been erased due to exposure to the natural elements. The three central spires of the temple are its major highlight, and the complex itself is a fine example of ancient Khmer architecture.

2

Preah Khan

Preah Khan

The Preah Khan temple is one of the most sprawling temple complexes in Angkor. Built by King Jayavarman VII, the Preah Khan temple is one of the few temples devoted to both Buddhism and Hinduism, and you will find motifs and shrines dedicated to deities and the teachings of both religions. Although the Preah Khan temple boasts extraordinary architecture, much of it has been left to ruin with trees and shrubs having invaded this once proud temple complex. Nevertheless, Preah Khan is well worth visiting.

3

Ta Keo

Ta Keo

Built in 968 AD, Ta Keo was a state temple during the reign of King Jayavarman V. Although time has certainly taken a toll on this once dazzling state temple, the Ta Keo temple is regarded as one of the best preserved temples in Angkor as much of its central structures, made of green sandstone, are still very much intact. The was devoted to the Hindu god Shiva, but legend has it that this state temple was never fully constructed owing to the fact that lightning struck the temple urging many to believe it a bad omen. Thus, you will notice that, unlike other temples, Ta Keo lacks significant external designs and carvings. Despite this, the Ta Keo temple is an excellent choice for a Siem Reap excursions from a centrally located resort such as the Anantara Angkor Resort.

4

Phnom Chisor

Phnom Chisor

Located close to Phonon Penh, the Phnom Chisor temple complex is one of the true undiscovered temples in Cambodia. You are unlikely to find crowds here because hardly anyone really knows about it. Built circa the 11th Century by King Suryavarman I, this temple is mostly in ruins, but in its peak was considered to be a grand temple with a tower which has four hundred steps leading to the shrine at its peak. You can make the climb today as well as the steps are in decent condition. Despite being significantly ruined, the temple has stunning terraces, beautiful carvings and designs, and an ambiance of spirituality and history that you just can't explain.

5

Banteay Kdei

Banteay Kdei

The Banteay Kdei complex is one of the most mysterious temples in the Angkor area. To this date not much is known about the purpose of the temple or what it served; all that is known is that it dates back to the 12th Century and was a Buddhist monastery for a period of time. Hundreds of small Buddha statues were excavated from the site, yet no one really knows why there were so many statutes here in the first place. The temple has suffered significant deterioration over the centuries, but the ruins of the central structures with creeping vines and towering trees intermingling between the ruins certainly make Banteay Kdei a temple that is exotic and mysterious.