Ta Keo Temple
Ta Keo Temple is an imposing place and had a history of being a bad omen for the Khmer empire…and perhaps this turned out to be correct.
It is believed that Jayavarman V, who ruled the Khmer people from 968 to 1001 AD, started construction on this grand temple…but some also thought that it brought bad luck to the mighty Khmer empire.
One of the tallest temples in Angkor Thom Archaeology Park, Ta Keo stretches 40 meters (130 feet) high and is dedicated to the Hindu God Shiver.
Only 10 years old when Jayavarman V succeed the throne from his father Rajendravarman, he grows to become a strong and capable ruler, credited for being a revered king building many of the temples in Siem Reap.
It is believed when he was aged seventeen, Jayavarman began the building of his own temples Ta Keo. Inscriptions on the brickwork tells us that lightning struck one of the temple walls during construction – this was taken as a sign of bad luck and all work suddenly halted.
Known in its time as “The Mountain with Golden Peaks”, Ta Keo Temple is a magnificent engineering feat with a five tier step pyramid and over lapping terraces.
One can only imagine the grandeur that this place once held and as the name suggests, it is believed the intention was to top the temple with golden peaks.
Some say that Ta Keo Temple remained incomplete, while others believe that it was finished by Suryavarman I (who reigned from 1006 – 1050 AD) and was Jayavarman V son.
The temple is in good condition considering it is over a millennia old and once at the top, there are three temples that sit side by side; plus being so high up – it provides an impressive view of the surrounding forest and the tiers below.
TIP: This temple is for the fit and energetic – there are a lot of steps to climb to get to the top.
Wear good walking shoes as the steps have eroded and very slippery when wet.
If you decide to tackle this temple in the heat of the day, make sure that you are well hydrated beforehand and take water with you.
There is not much shade in this temple, so make sure you slather on the sunscreen and take an umbrella in the wet season.
This temple takes you back to the days when this ancient empire stood mighty and proud, which is demonstrated in the impressive architecture that Ta Keo Temple has to offer.
To help you with planning your temple tour you may like to read our article on The 10 Best Temples In Siem Reap or our article Purchasing Your Temple Tickets, which will give you valuable information on purchasing your Temple Tickets.