Phnom Krom

March 1, 2009

in Angkor Temples

Temple Name: Phnom Krom
Notable Features: Wonderful view of Tonle Sap Lake.
Getting There: Phnom Krom is located 12 km southwest of Siem Reap, close to the Chong Khneas Port and the Tonle Sap Lake.

The Hilltop Temple of the Trimurti

Construction began on Phnom Krom towards the end of the 9th century, and was finished in the beginning of the 10th century. King Yasovarman I built this temple and dedicated it to the Hindu Trimurti (Trinity), which consists of the deities Shiva, Vishnu, and Brahma. Yasovarman built two other temples that are similar in design to Phnom Krom. Those temples are Phnom Bakheng and Phnom Bok. Phnom Krom is the southernmost of these temples.

When visiting Phnom Krom, be prepared for a little hiking. The temple is located atop a large hill (137 meters high). Once on top of the hill, the view of Tonle Sap Lake is absolutely breathtaking. Since Phnom Krom is located outside the main Angkor area, it should be toured in conjunction with Tonle Sap Lake.

Phnom Krom’s towers look especially majestic in the late afternoon hours. The rays of the setting sun illuminate the temple’s orange, red, and salmon-colored stone.

Phnom Krom’s prasats (towers) are arranged from north to south, facing east. The central prasat is the largest, and is devoted to the deity Shiva. The northern most prasat is dedicated to Vishnu, and the southern most prasat is dedicated to Brahma.

The inner workings of Phnom Krom have eluded historians. Archeological evidence, though, seems to suggest that Phnom Krom was once a crematorium.

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