- Rosalia de Castro
The Roluos Group is a collection of monuments that remain from the first Angkorian capital Hariharalaya, they are thus the oldest of the main Angkor temples in the Siem Reap area. The temples are close to the modern town Roluos, giving their modern name, and is made up of three main sites - Preah Ko, Lolei, and Bakong. Bakong temple highlights include the well preserved temple mountain, surmounted by the anachronistic lotus spire, and elephants surrounding the bottom three tiers. The Roluos group of temples is away from the main site north of Siem Reap, so is often combined with visits to Wat Athvea, Phnom Krom, or the
Distance from Siem Reap to Bakong is around 13.5km (20 minutes by car, 30 minutes by Tuk Tuk) from Siem Reap. Take NR6 from Siem Reap town towards Phnom Penh, for about 12km, turn south for about 1km to Bakong. You can visit Bakong temple at any time of the day, but late-afternoon is a good time to see the temple with relatively few crowds, with the possibility to enjoy the sunset there. A Bakong Temple plan can be useful for orientation, and for highlighting key sights. Both Lolei and Preah Ko are a few minutes drive from Bakong, as well as the seldom-visited Prasat Prei Monti and Prasat Trapeang Phong - refer to our Roluos map. An expert local tour guide from Siem Reap will ensure you get the very best from your visit and the journey between Siem Reap and the site.
The Roluos Group date to the 9th Century, and were devoted to both Shiva and Vishnu (together "Hari-Hara"). Indravarman I moved his capital to Hariharalaya ("abode of Hari-Hara") from Jayavarman II's founding Angkorian capital on Phnom Kulen, and this remained the capital until it moved to Bakheng, in the current archaeological park, in 905. Preah Ko was built in 879-880, and has 6 brick towers, while Bakong was completed in 881, and was probably the state temple of Indravarman, although this possibly built on an earlier temple mount. The Angkor Wat-style lotus spired central sanctuary was probably added in the 12th century, possibly by Yasovarman II. Lolei, transitional in style betwwn preah Ko and Bakheng, was built in 893 by Yasovarman I, and although the towers are in poor repair, there are some exquisite carvings remaining.
"Examine the earliest SiemReap-area Angkor temples, and see the original brick construction, much of which would have been covered with decorated stucco work, which predated the later laterite and sandstone temples of the Angkor Wat period. "
Peerless service standards and local positioning have made us the tour operator of choice by international luxury travel groups and discerning independent travellers to Angkor Wat, Cambodia and Southeast Asia.