Sunday, July 17, 2016

Pre Rup - the State Temple of King Rajendravarman I

See the location on Pre Rup Google Map

Pre Rup រាសាទប្រែរូប: The temple moubtain was built as the state temple of Khmer king Rajendravarman I and dedicated in 961 or early 962. The name Pre Rup ("turn the body") reflects a ritual at funerals: the ashes of the body are rotated in different directions.

Picture by Ashley

Picture by Ashley
This north east view from the top shows the temple grounds. The towers at the entry are later additions, possibly in Jayavarman V's reign.

Picture by Ashley
The lintel on the tower shows Indra on a single-headed Airavata (the five-headed divine elephant).

Pre Rup is located just south of the East Baray, aligned on a north-south axis with the East Mebon temple. Pre Rup's laterite and brick materials give it a pleasing reddish tone, more intensive in early morning and late afternoon sunlight. The temple has a square lay-out and two perimeter walls. The outer enclosure is a platform bounded by a laterite wall. You enter by a laterite causeway from the east. The four external gopuras are cross-shaped, having a central brick section (consisting of three rooms flanked by two independent passageways) and a sandstone vestibule on both sides. To either side inside the eastern gate is a group of three towers aligned north to south. Further ahead, through another gate, libraries lie to either side of the walkway on the second platform. Long galleries are running along at each side. The final squared pyramid, measuring 50 m at its base, rises in three steep tiers a dozen metres in height to a 35 m square platform at the summit. The lowest tier is surrounded by 12 small shrines. At the top you discover five towers, one at each corner of the square and one in the center. Deities carved as bas-reliefs are guards at either side of the central tower’s eastern door. The southwest tower once contained a statue of Lakshmi, the northwest tower a statue of Uma, the southeast tower a statue of Vishnu and the northeast tower a statue of Shiva. The last one has an inscription on doorjambs that dates from Jayavarman VI and is the only proof of his reign at Angkor.

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