- Aldous Huxley
Ta Keo Temple in Cambodia is one of the larger Angkor temples, and it is a magnificent archaelogical feat boasting a huge five-tier pyramid with overlapping terraces, known as the 'mountain with golden peaks'. It is unique in a way as it actually lacks the intricate external scultpures and decorations which make Khmer architecture so beautiful and distinctive, as the 'decoration' phase ceased after construction, however this allows the architectural enthusiast a closer look at its construction form- the first temple constructed entirely of sandstone. Among the Highlights of Ta Keo Temple are a marvellous unenclosed gallery which can be found on the second terrace. And once you've explored the architecture throughout the temple, ascend to the very top of one of the towers for excellent views.
Distance from Siem Reap to Ta Keo temple is around 13km (20 minutes by car, 26 minutes by Tuk Tuk and about 1 hour and 20 minutes by bicycle). Take the Sivatha read heading northeast from Siem Reap toward Srah Srang. When you reach the junction turn left and continue past Ta Prohm, and then after a further kilometer you will reach Ta Keo temple on your right - it is distinguishable by its three tiers. It is best to visit Ta Keo temple at any time before 1pm, after which time the temple will be shaded and so not ideal for taking photos. Of course the earlier you arrive the more chance of getting there before any tour parties. Our Ta Keo temple plan can be useful for orientation around the temple. 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.
Ta Keo temple is one of the Hindu Angkor temples, and was built by King Jayavarman V when he was seventeen years old and it was meant to be his own state temple. During the period after his death in AD1001, a large scale and bloody usurpation was taking place in the kingdom of Angkor, and so work on the temple drew to a halt. Jayavarman V's successor, King Suryavarman I, restarted work on the temple but legend has it that it was later completely halted as superstition took hold of the people following a lightening strike on the central tower - they believed the whole building brought bad luck.
"The mountain with Golden Peaks - wander through the galleries, lose yourself in the pyramids, and marvel at the views rewarded to those who venture to the top. And beware of lightning strikes! "
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