Temples Between Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom Ta Prohm Kel Temple
Ta Prohm Kel temple is located on the way from Angkor Wat to Angkor Thom, about 300 meters from the west entry gate of Angkor Wat. The chapel made of sandstone that faces east. The temple was built in the late 12th century, during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. According to an inscription found in 1928, the chapel of 102 hospitals built by King Javavarman VII has the same form.
Phnom Bakheng Temple
Phnom Bakheng temple was built on a natural hill. Commonly referred to as temple-mountain because it is an earthly facsimile of Mount Meru, it is located on the left side of the road from Angkor Wat to Angkor Thom and attracts scores of tourists who come to watch the sunset or sunrise. The temple of Phnom Bakeng was cut from the rock that formed the natural hill and faced with sandstone in the late 9thearly 10th centuries, during the reign of King Yasovarman I (AD 889-910), dedicating to Shiva Brahmanism. Phnom Ba Kheng is 65 meters high and the temple has long towers. Phnom Ba Kheng temple was a replica of Mount Meruand the number of towers suggests a cosmic symbolism. The seven level-ground, five tiers, upper terrace of the monument represent the seven heavens of Indra in Brahmanism mythology.
The temple of Phnom Bakheng must have been a spectacular site in its entirety because originally 108 towers were evenly spaced around the tiers with yet another one, the central sanctuary, at the apex of them all. Today, however, most of these towers have collapsed. Besides the central sanctuary, there were 4 towers on the upper terrace, 12 on each of the 5 levels of the platform, and another 44 towers around the base. The brick towers on the different levels represent the 12 years cycle of the animal zodiac. It is also possible that the numerology of the 108 towers symbolizes the 4 lunar phases with 27 days in each phase. The arrangement allows for only 33 corresponds with the number of Brahmanism deities.
At the top of the hill, Phnom Ba Kheng is set on a tiered platform of five levels. There are stairways of a very steep gradient on all four sides. Seated lions flank the step at each of the five levels. The complex is surrounded by a laterite rampart with gopuras. Beyond there is a small structure to north with sandstone pillars in which there are two lingams. A modern footprint of the Buddha is in the center of the path. Two libraries are opening only to the west on either side of the part.
At the top most platforms of 76 meters square and 13 meters high, five towers are arranged in quincunx. The central tower once contained the lingam to which the temple was dedicated. It opens to all four cardinal points. The remaining four sanctuaries also sheltered lingams on pedestals and open on two sides. The central sanctuary is decorated with female divinities set in niches at the corner of the temple which have delicately carved bands of foliage above; the pilasters are finely worked and have raise interlacing of figurines. The makaras on the tympanums are lively and strongly executed. The decoration above the doors is well preserved showing a panel of foliated cusps with the heads of 33 gods. An inscription is visible on the west side of the north door of the central sanctuary.
According to an inscription on the temple, Bhnom Ba Kheng was the center of the city of Yasodharapura. This fact was verified in the late 9th century with the discovery of an old rampart. This temple was originally called Yasodharakiri. Later it was known as Phnom Kandal. It might have been called Phnom Kandal because it was built in the center of the city Yasodharapura of because it is between Phnom Bok and Phnom Krom. Today visitors refer to the temple as Phnom Ba Kheng. This name was found in an inscription on the temple in the 16th century.
Baksei Cham Krong Temple
Baksei Cham Krong temple is located about 150 meters north of Phnom Ba Kheng. The temple was perhaps begun construction by King Harshavarman I (AD- 910-944) and completed by King Rajendravarman (AD 944-968), dedicating Shiva Brahmanism. Inscriptions on the door reveal the date of the temple and mention a golden image of Shiva and the mythical founder of the Khmer civilization.
The temple is a simple plan with a single tower on top of a square, four tiered laterite platform. Three levels of the base are undecorated, but the top platform has horizontal molding around it that sets off the sanctuary. A square, central brick tower stands on a sandstone base shaped like a cone. It has one door opening to the east with three false doors on the other sides, which are in remarkably good condition. Most of the lintels are in poor condition but, on the east, Indra riding a three-headed elephant is still recognizable and is finely carved. The interior of the tower has a sunken floor and a corbelled vault.
Rorng Romong Temple
Rorn Romong temple is southwest of Phnom Ba Kheng. A small brick temple, the upper part has been lost over time. According to local residents, the temple’s name comes from the traditional Khmer game Romong. Some people, however, say the temple was once used to house an animal called Romong. Such an animal does not exist today, however, and no one has ever seen a picture of it.
Thma Bay Kaek Temple
Thma Bay Kaek temple is located near the south moat of Angkor Thom and north of Baksei Cham Krong temple, about 125 meters from the entrance to Angkor Thom. This temple was built in the 10th century to worship Brahmanism. No one knows who built the temple.