The lost wonders – Koh Ker & Beng Mealea
Koh Ker Group of Temples
Koh Ker was once a prehistoric capital for one of the Ancient Khmer Empire from 928 to 944 AD. Situated 140 km away from Siem Reap and placed in the Preah Vihear Province. There are quite number of temples can be found and the main famous temple is Prasat Prang. Prang is structure with seven tiered which is take after ancient Mayan Pyramid structure. This structure is so amazingly constructed and well planned.
History says Jayavarman IV is associating with this Koh Ker Capital and abandoned by the King before reinstalled the capital at Angkor. Similar style temples also found in Takeo Province & Kampong Cham Province, and also some in Thailand. Research consider Hinduism and Buddhism seem to cultivate in the same area as we can find some Buddha script on the stone wall as well as some lingam towers also located.
Apart from the Prang, there are quite few temples around that area and all structures here are unique and extremely peaceful around. Some temples were totally covered with the tree roots. The area is really full with interesting things for those who studying history or those who love nature. Even in the day time, the area is shaking with the sound of forest.
Beng Mealea or Jungle Temple
After Koh Ker visit, just 30 minutes’ drive back to Siem Reap, on the way will reach to Beng Mealea Temple. Beng Mealea meaning the Lotus Pond in khmer language. History if this temple is unclear, but researchers anticipated the duration based on the architecture it was built during King Suryavarman II, early twelve century.
Same as Koh Ker, here can found many Hindu influences structure, but there are also some carving regarding about Buddhist motifs as well. The extensive carving of scenes from Hindu mythology, including Vishnu & Garuda stone script can be seen on the wall.
Beng Mealea is partially facing to the east, with the other three principal directions main gates. Tree & roots are covered most of the temple area and you may feel like walking in the Jungle. Just about the Northern Entrance of Beng Mealea, there is the solid structure with the Apsara script on the wall.
The wooden walkway is constructed for visitors convenient as well as to maintain the valuable structure. The people just need to walk along the wooden bridge. But there also some ways to go in deep inside of the temple, but need to be careful as the stones are slip and sharpen in some places.
Concern with the visitor ticket, Koh Ker cost $10 per person while Beng Mealea Temple Pass charges $5 per person. Even though the car transportation might be pricy since its remote area and isolated from the Angkor main complex, but these temples visit is advisable as you can taste of being natural and jungle.
TNK Travel Team