Travel Report: Prasat Krachap Temple, Koh Ker.
Prasat Krachap Temple, Koh Ker, Cambodia.
*With five more Koh Ker temples to go, I’ve decided to publish the remaining ruins over the next consecutive five days. These are the smaller and less visited of Koh Ker’s ancient structures, thus they are mini articles, if you will. Happy temple hunting!*
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.
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.
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 delightful discoveries that helped make it stand out from the other temples at Koh Ker.
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).
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.
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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