Ta Keo Temple is a magnificent ziggurat with a small area but is one of the tallest temples in Cambodia. With an inscription name of Hema-sringagiri which means “The Mountain with Golden Peaks,” it stands as a representation of Mount Meru that is known of its five peaks. Built two centuries ahead of Angkor Wat, its architecture is clearly reflected in the temples that followed it.
This marvelous ancient building is surprisingly intact despite its age. Its entire framework is still in good shape in spite of some minor damages. Visitors are still welcome to climb up its steep stairs which are still rock-solid. The temple’s towers with intricate design seem to be the most vulnerable part of the temple. But they seem to be unmoved despite the storms and earthquakes throughout the centuries.
History of Ta Keo Temple
The Ta Keo temple was constructed in 975 AD during the rule of King Jayavarman V. He was only 17 years old when he ordered its construction. What’s more interesting is that he became a king as young as 10 years old to succeed King Rajendravarman. He handed the temple to his high priest Yogisvara Pandita but he only used the lower part of the temple because he doesn’t see himself worthy to use the upper parts of the temple.
Our Quick Visit at Ta Keo Temple
We visited this temple-mountain after our tour at Ta Prohm. Aside from the construction workers, there were no other people in sight when we got here. We were fascinated by its slight resemblance to Angkor Wat because of its towers and facade. Unlike most of the temples that we explored, this one doesn’t have any bas-reliefs or any statues. Perhaps building decorations like those weren’t a trend yet during the 10th century.
We hesitated to come inside the temple because of the ongoing maintenance on its side. Seeing the view on top of this small temple would have been great. It’s wonderful to see that their government is constantly making sure that the structure is strengthened to prevent any collapse. Visiting a structure that has survived many generations is simply amazing.