Travel Report: Prasat Krachap Temple, Koh Ker, Cambodia.
June 2020. After the dramatic Prasat Thom and the curious Linga Temples, our next Koh Ker structure was Prasat Krachap. Unfortunately, details of this ruin and its history are a bit thin on the ground.
Luckily, some surviving inscriptions at least tell us that it dates back to 928 and that it was consecrated in tribute to Tribhuvanadeve, a linga representation of the Hindu lord Shiva. Tri-bhuvana means three worlds, a reference to the universe, as formed by earth, heaven and the underworld.
Prasat Krachap Temple, Koh Ker.
The Khmer often refer to Prasat Krachap as The Temple of Inscriptions. You’ll find the main concentration on one of the doorways in the central shrine. The French scholar George Coedès studied and translated the bulk of them, revealing that one section features a list of slaves who worked at the temple!
Prasat Krachap is a sprawling collection of ruins housed within a surprisingly preserved walled enclosure. In addition to its inscriptions, there were a number of other delightful discoveries that helped make it stand out from the others.
Firstly, the plant life here is amazing! This is certainly one of the wildest temples we’ve visited, with 1,100 years of weird and wonderful jungle growth. One of the most common sights here is this peculiar, funnel-shaped plant called Brossva ប្រស់ស្វា.
The Temple of Inscriptions.
Some of the stonework at Prasat Krachap is also unusual and quite like anything else we saw throughout The Angkor Temples and Koh Ker. Many of the bricks are tiny, with dinky leaves sprouting out of the cracks.
Above all, I’ll always remember Prasat Krachap for this terrifying spider and its equally awesome web. He was hanging out near the remains of the central shrine, a graveyard of bugs peppered around him. I think we spent at least ten minutes just staring at him in wonder.
At the back of the complex, we got to add to our collection of amazing trees. This one had cracked in half and fallen into the back wall, where it now lies embedded in the stone.
If you want to visit Koh Ker, bear in mind that you can’t gain access with The Angkor Pass. Instead, there’s a separate entry fee before you enter the forest. Tickets go for $15 per person.
Check out more of my reports from The Temples of Koh Ker.
You can also read my articles from the amazing Temples of Angkor.
Or maybe delve further afield with my travel reports from all across Cambodia.
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