Pre Rup Temple
A place for the dead.
Pre Rup Temple was believed to be a funerary shrine, along with the Terrace of the Leper King and it is thought this was where royal cremations took place.
Like all advanced ancient civilizations, great importance was placed on people passing over into the next life – which has been shown in carvings on temple walls and reflecting the strong Khmer belief of the spiritual world.
The temple’s name literally means “turn the body”.
This comes from what we have discovered to be one of the rituals during their death ceremony. During this rite, the ashes of the departed were rotated in different directions in a specially designed urn.
During this rite, the ashes of the departed were rotated in different directions in a specially designed urn.
Pre Rup Temple was completed in 961 AD (believed to have been built by King Rajendravarman II), which is considered to be architecturally and artistic masterpiece. Its large structures holds impressive carvings and is one of the earliest temples thought to have been built by the Khmer empire.
In the early 20th century, Pre Rup Temple had been completely overgrown and covered with soil like many of the temples later discovered in Angkor Thom Archaeology Park. The temple was excavated during the 1930’s by French conservators George Trouvé and Henri Marchal – becoming another spectacular inclusion to the temples of Siem Reap.
Once you reach the top of the steps, five towers await you that display beautifully carved doors and richly detailed, well-preserved lintels, plus the view from the top is impressive as you survey around the natural forested below.
Surrounded by magnificent, jaded beauty…Pre Rup Temple still holds hidden secrets of its grand and illustrious past.
TIP: Wear good walking shoes (especially during wet season) because the stairs are steep and can get very slippery.
If you like photography – the early morning or late afternoon light is the best time to capture the warm tones of the temple and you may like to go to Pre Rup Temple to see the sunset.