The Khleangs

March 1, 2009

in Angkor Temples

Temple Name: The Khleangs
Notable Features: Inscriptions around the doorways.
Getting There: The Khleangs are situated opposite the Terrace of the Elephants in Angkor Thom. This is a very popular tourist destination. Any tuk tuk driver will know how to take you there.

The Storehouse Temples

The Khleangs are two structures located on the east side of Angkor Thom’s Royal Square. They are set opposite the Terrace of the Elephants. The name Khleang is a modern descriptor that means “storehouse”. Ironically, archeologists believe that it is highly unlikely that the Khleangs were used as storehouses. The structures’ locations and the royal oath of allegiance that is carved into their doorways indicates that the Khleangs were used to house noblemen or visiting ambassadors.

The two Khleangs were built opposite one another, in perfect symmetry. Archeological evidence suggests that the Khleangs were built in different time periods. The northernmost Khleang was built under the kingship of Jayavarman V, and the southern Khleang was built under Suryavarman I.

It is improper to refer to the Khleangs as ‘temples’. Even though their original purpose remains unclear, archeologists are almost certain that the Khleangs served no religious function.

There aren’t any significant carvings on the Khleangs, other than the inscriptions around the structures’ doorways. Despite their lack of ornamentation, the Khleangs have a unique appearance and their mysterious existence is worth examining.

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