Temple Name: Thommanon
Notable Features: In fabulous condition. Contains stylistic appointments similar to Angkor Wat.
Getting There: Coming from Angkor Thom, Thommanon is located opposite Chau Say Tevoda. From Ta Keo, Thommanon is located 500 meters east of the Victory Gate to Ta Keo.
Thommanon is a small, gorgeous representation of Angkor architecture. In the 1960’s, the temple was the focus of a meticulous restoration project. As a result, some extremely fine examples of Khmer artwork, hieroglyphs, and architecture can be viewed at Thommanon.
After studying the temple’s design and stonework, archeologists have concluded that Thommanon was erected shortly before the more famous Angkor Wat temple was built. The beauty and success of Thommanon was almost certainly a major source of inspiration for the architects of Angkor Wat.
Thommanon’s weathered sandstone appears to glow in the light of the setting sun. In the late afternoon, the temple’s main tower gives off hues of salmon, deep red, oxidized copper, and tan. Make sure your camera has a full roll of film or a large memory card, because you’ll want to take plenty of pictures.
You will first enter Thommanon from the east, after which you will pass through a gopura (a Hindu temple gateway). From the gopura you will walk through a mandapa, or outdoor hallway, and into a stunning antechamber. The antechamber opens up to the grand central sanctuary. A massive Angkor-style prasat (tower) sits atop the central sanctuary. Standing beneath this well-preserved prasat, you will feel humbled and awe-stricken by the efforts of the ancients.