From 928 to 944 AD, Koh Ker was the capital of the Khmer Empire. This was the first time the Khmer Capital was not at Angkor in its almost 500-year existence. There was a breakdown in the line of succession some 20 years after the capital was established at Angkor, and in 928 AD, King Jayavarman IV, most likely a usurper of the throne, established a new capital at Koh Ker.
The king built a great royal capital with Brahmanic temples and Prasats (towers) around a massive Baray (reservoir). He ruled for 20 years before dying, and his son, King Hashavarman II, would stay in Koh Ker for another three years before restoring the capital to Angkor.
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Koh Ker is located around 100 kilometers northeast of Siem Reap. You may reach there by taking National Highway #6 east from Siem Reap to Damdek, then turning north and following the directions. For a portion of the journey, there is a toll road
Explore Koh Ker temple
Prasat Thom, a massive temple complex constructed in the shape of a seven-tiered pyramid, is the most notable building here. There is now a loop road that rounds the reservoir, with prasats and tiny temple complexes, as well as numerous well-preserved ruins, just off the road.
You may also explore a number of other distant ruins in the vicinity. It is strongly advised that you hire an experienced guide or take our jeep tour to visit. A round trip from Siem Reap to Koh Ker can take up to a day and can be coupled with a visit to Beng Mealea.
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