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Angkor Archeological Park

Ta Keo Temple

Explore the heart of the Khmer ancestral empire

     This temple dated back to about the year 1000 under Jayavarman V, was never completed, but it is in an excellent state of conservation. It is considered one of the finest mountain temples built in Angkor. An impressive view of the surrounding forest can be enjoyed from atop this monument.

History

a Keo is a pyramid of five levels reaching a total height of 22m – the first two form the base of two enclosing courtyards, one surrounded by a simple wall and the other by a gallery, while the last three, through proportional reduction are a massive artificial plinth for the quincunx of sanctuaries.

This is the first realisation in sandstone of such a structure (generally dedicated to deified nobility) after the temple of Bakheng that crowned a natural hill serving as its core. Ta Keo is constructed with much more care in the systematic cutting and placing of enormous blocks of stone, the arrangement of which can be viewed easily, due to the absence of almost any moulding or decoration.

The reason for this temple remaining unfinished is unknown for it was abandoned soon after the start of its ornamentation. By these remaining fragments, this temple dates to the end of 10th century and the early years of the 11th. Inscriptions engraved on the door jambs of the eastern gopuras, relating to donations made to the temple (but not to its foundation) date from 1007.

     Originally, the access to the monument was from the east across a moat by means of a paved causeway, preceded by lions in the style of the Bayon and lined with bornes. Some 500m further to the east is the bank of the Eastern Baray. The external enclosure wall forms a rectangle of 120m by 100m and is in sandstone on a laterite base. The second terrace dominates the first with an imposing moulded laterite base and four axial sandstone gopuras. From the courtyard, standing in front of the three tiers that form the 14m high central pyramid, one is left with a powerful impression.

The upper platform is square and almost entirely occupied by the quincunx of towers in their unfinished form. These open to the four cardinal points by projecting vestibules. The corner towers are set on plinths and are dominated by the central tower set on an elevated base with the development of its porticoes and frontons adding to its grandeur. Fragments of pedestals and of lingas are found both in and around the towers.

Discover all the current projects happening in Ta Keo Temple

Info and tips for visitor

Date :

End of the 10th century

Style

Khleang

Opening hours

7:30 am to 5:30 pm

Reign

Jayavarman V

Religion

Hindu

Tour

45 minutes to 1 hour

Click to take a tour of the photo gallery of Ta Keo Temple