Photo: Don’t forget your tightrope.

Suor Prat and the Khleangs

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The dozen towers that comprise the Suor Prat towers stand directly opposite the Royal Palace enclosure and are placed symmetrically on either side of the royal road leading from the Victory Gate to the Elephant Terrace.

Really only of interest to those who have a pressing need to closely examine every single Angkor site, Suor Prat is believed to date to the early 13th century during the reign of Indravarman II. The purpose of the towers remains unknown.

True purpose unknown. Photo taken in or around Suor Prat and the Khleangs, Angkor, Cambodia by Caroline Major.

True purpose unknown. Photo: Caroline Major

The name Prasat Suor Prat means "temple of the tightrope walkers" and one story suggests that the towers were used for conflict mediation. Squabbling parties were required to sit in separate towers, apparently for days, until whichever party was in the wrong got sick, while the party in the right would display no signs of sickness.

Another story suggests the towers were used as anchors for tightrope artists and other performers, though building a dozen brick towers to support a tightrope performance seems excessive—even by Angkorian standards.

Behind the Suor Prat towers, you’ll find the Khleangs. While the two appear to have been constructed as a set, that isn’t the case. The northern Khleang was built first, by Jayaviravarman, with the southern following later during the reign of Suryavarman I, but it was never finished.

The northern Khleang. Photo taken in or around Suor Prat and the Khleangs, Angkor, Cambodia by Caroline Major.

The northern Khleang. Photo: Caroline Major

As with Suor Prat, their actual purpose is a bit of a mystery, though given the name means “storeroom” it has been suggested that they were used to, well, store things—perhaps even people in the form of visiting foreign dignitaries. These are not really worth going out of your way for though the northern Khleang contains some heraldic style lintels in reasonable condition.

Suor Prat and the Khleangs
Opposite the Elephant and Leper King Terraces

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Location map for Suor Prat and the Khleangs

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