Travel Report: Prasat Pram Temple, Koh Ker.
Prasat Pram Temple, Koh Ker, Cambodia.
The final stop of our day exploring Koh Ker’s ancient ruins came at Prasat Pram Temple. By this point we were exhausted, hot and thoroughly drenched in our own sweat. Consequently, we felt more than ready to head home, where a cold shower and swimming pool awaited us at Apsara Greenland Boutique Hotel. Looking back, I’m glad we didn’t skip this compound, the so-called Five Towers Temple.
In fact, our decision to squeeze in Prasat Pram was immediately vindicated as we entered the complex and came across this stupendously twisty tree. Just wonderful.
Pram means five in Khmer and indeed the complex features the ruins of five towers. Historians don’t know much about the temple, although one theory goes that its creators never actually finished building it.
A further hypothesis is that the towers here once formed part of a crematorium. This lack of solid historic context certainly doesn’t hold the place back though. Rather, much like many other Koh Ker temples, it simply adds to the overall mystery of the complex.
Something that’s not in doubt is the incredible beauty of the towers. Strangler fig trees have completely overtaken two of them, their invasive branches twisting and turning over, around and even within the brickwork.
Prasat Pram Temple, Koh Ker.
Historians believe all five towers once housed lingas, though today the interiors stand quite empty. The National Museum in Phnom Penh showcases a few pieces discovered here, including a damaged lion statue and a four-armed Vishnu sculpture.
However, I was happy to see that not all the lingas had been raided for display in the Cambodian capital. Right enough, half a dozen still lie scattered in various states of decay across the complex.
The entire ruin was so exceptionally mystical and photogenic, we forgot all about how tired we were and spent half an hour wandering around the towers, breathing them all in from different angles.
What a terrific end to a memorable day touring the outstanding temples of Koh Ker. “You ready go home?” asked our driver, with a wide grin. Yes, we were definitely ready to make tracks after an unforgettable day touring Koh Ker.
Prasat Pram is just one of many fascinating temples scattered around Koh Ker. If you want to visit, 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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