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Travel Report: Prasat Krachap Temple, Koh Ker.

Prasat Krachap Temple Cambodia.

Prasat Krachap Temple, Koh Ker.

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.

Prasat Krachap Temple Koh Ker.

Prasat Krachap Temple, Koh Ker, Cambodia.

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.

Ancient engravings Koh Ker Cambodia.

Ancient inscriptions at Prasat Krachap.

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 Temple, Koh Ker.

Temple of Inscriptions Koh Ker.

Temple of Inscriptions.

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 other temples at Koh Ker.

Prasat Krachap.

The central, half-buried shrine.

First, the plant life here is amazing! This was certainly one of the wildest temples we visited, a complex occupied by over a thousand years of weird and wonderful jungle growth. One of the most common sights is this peculiar, funnel-shaped plant called Brossva (ប្រស់ស្វា).

Funnel plants Koh Ker Cambodia.

Plant life at Prasat Krachap.

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.

The Temple of Inscriptions.

Prasat Krachap Temple.

Prasat Krachap Temple, Koh Ker.

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.

Incredible spider Cambodia

Not to be messed with.

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.

Prasat Krachap Temple Koh Ker.

Prasat Thom, Koh Ker.

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.

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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.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

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  • Memo

    Absolutely love how you make stone ruins look so beautiful. The opening shot is my favorite – much less so is the spider.

    July 26, 2020 - 11:17 pm Reply
  • Eromonsele Emmanuel

    Do you understand the inscribed language Leighton? I’m just curious. Great place by the way.

    July 29, 2020 - 7:02 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey, thanks for reading. Sadly I can’t read ancient Khmer! I’ll put it on my to do list 😉

      July 29, 2020 - 7:47 am Reply
      • Eromonsele Emmanuel

        Haha! You don’t have to do anything about it because of me.

        July 30, 2020 - 6:20 am
      • Leighton

        Phew, that’s a relief! My schedule is kinda busy 😉

        July 30, 2020 - 10:38 am
      • Eromonsele Emmanuel

        Hahaha. You’re funny.

        July 31, 2020 - 6:45 am

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