March 1, 2009

in Angkor Temples

Temple Name: Lolei
Notable Features: Richly ornamented prasats (towers).
Getting There: Lolei is located on the east side of Siem Reap in the Ruluos temple group. Any tuk tuk driver or tour guide will know how to take you to Ruluous.

The Red Tower of Ruluos

Lolei is the northern most temple of the Ruluos temple group. It was erected on a man-made island in the middle of Indratataka, a now dry baray (man-made lake). Indratataka was the first large-scale baray to be constructed in the Khmer Empire.

Four brick towers compose the Lolei temple. They are in decent condition and contain some well-preserved carvings. Indravarman I constructed Lolei towards the end of the 9th century. It was the last temple to be built in the city of Hariharalaya (Ruluos) before Yasovarman I relocated the Khmer capital to the Angkor area.

The laterite (clay) used to construct Lolei is particularly red in coloration, which looks great on film. Late in the day, in the light of the setting sun, the temple stone looks especially brilliant.

Other than the temple’s complex coloration and a few nice carvings, Lolei is one of the least impressive temples in Ruluos. It’s still worth the visit, but you don’t need to spend too much time here.

Lolei and the neighboring temples of Ruluos are not as richly ornaments as the temples of Angkor. As a result they are not as touristed. What the temples may lack in detail and beauty, they make up for in serenity and charm.

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