An unspectacular pile of bricks
What we say:
This unspectacular pile of bricks is not worth going out of your way for but if you're passing it's worth a stop at what is one of the most historically important and oldest temples in the area.
The temple lies just off the track along the southern embankment of the West Baray and was clearly heavily damaged during the lake's construction. An inscription from 613 has been found at the site, indicating that probably the first temple on the site dates to either the reign of the great Ishnarvarman himself or his father Mahendravarman, though it was during the later 7th, early 8th century and the reigns of Jayavarman I and his daughter Queen Jayadevi that the capital was moved to this site. Ak Yum more than likely became the state-temple of their city Aninditapura.
Though now all that can be seen is the remains of a laterite step platform surrounded by a few piles of bricks it must have been a lot more impressive in its prime and was certainly the first ever step pyramid-type temple constructed by the Khmers. The sparse remains seen today presumably date from an upgrade during Jayavarman II's occupation of the area. Note there are no guardians at this temple so no pass is needed.
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