Photo: Gorgeous lintels.

Preah Ko

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Preah Ko—The Sacred Bull—is one of a handful of sites that make up the Roluos group of temples, moments from impressive Bakong.



What remains of it today are six small brick towers in two rows of three, sitting on a sandstone base along with a handful of outlying buildings in various state of ruins; it was home to one of the first libraries built during the Angkor era. Each tower is dedicated to one of Indravarman’s ancestors, including Jayavarman II, considered to be the founding father of the Khmer empire.

The main affair. Photo taken in or around Preah Ko, Angkor, Cambodia by Caroline Major.

The main affair. Photo: Caroline Major

The sides of the doors of all six brick temples contain long inscriptions, but the big find here was the temple foundation steele in the gopura of the first enclosure. While the steele has been removed, part of the inscription is the eulogy of Indravarman I and reads, according to G. Coedes in Maurice Glaize’s Angkor:

“The right arm of the prince is long, strong and fearsome in battle as his flashing sword falls on his enemies, defeating kings in every direction. Invincible, he can be appeased by two enemies only—those who have their backs turned, and those who, valuing life, put themselves under his protection.”

Stucco decoration. Photo taken in or around Preah Ko, Angkor, Cambodia by Mark Ord.

Stucco decoration. Photo: Mark Ord

For unknown reasons the six towers are a bit off kilter, unequally aligned. The main point of interest here are the lime mortar lintels and other decorative work that was affixed to the brick towers. Each of the six towers has a small, active shrine inside. It will only take a few short minutes to visit this site.



Preah Ko
Roulos Group

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Location map for Preah Ko

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