Pre Rup

Pre Rup is a Hindu shrine to the god Shiva. Built in 962, it's pretty old for the Ankgor complex, predating the larger temples to the west. It is thought to have been used largely for funerals and is nicknamed the 'turn the body' temple due to the practice of turning a body to each compass direction during points of the service.

Notably, the southwest top tower is the only engraving ever found noting the king Javayarman VI, and it's how we are aware of his reign.

The Arrival

Lucky, my driver, dropped me off at eastern entrance where I was approached by police trying to sell "badges" as souvenirs. Like many professions in Cambodia, law enforcement isn't very well paid, so this is an attempt to make some extra cash. Regardless of the legality of purchasing a police badge (I certainly don't want to be accused of impersonating an officer in a foreign country), this doesn't seem like the best item to remember your time in Cambodia. This doesn't seem to be a thing that happens anymore thankfully.
All of these are temples for different reasons and godsIt is quite old and things are pretty ruinous


In the temple

It's big, but not the expansiveness of the later temple complexes. 150 feet tall to top area, a bit of reconstruction has been done here, but as often happens, construction goes in fits and starts then ends. Long galleries and buildings of smaller rooms labeled as libraries are in a very precise ordered layout.

Because this temple is near the eastern and southern edges of the park, it affords some nice vistas over the tropical forests stretching out toward the horizon.
The wall is pretty complete here
The steps are super steep in this one, I navigated by walking at an angle from left to right, facing the outer edge, then turning around and repeating until I reached the top
Long galleries I hear you knocking but you can't come in
Nice views

Summary

Pre Rup, while not a huge temple or very ornate, is really cool because it helps show how the styles of the temple building progressed over time, and also shows the evolution from the "center" of the temples facing toward the east to towards the west over the centuries. Part of a group of temples in this area, it's in the best shape and the most cleared of foliage of the set.



Related blog posts

Angkor Thom - Posted: 2020-02-20
Angkor Wat - Posted: 2020-02-19
Banteay Srei - Posted: 2020-03-12
Phnom Kulen - Posted: 2020-03-21
Ta Prohm - Posted: 2020-03-23