Roluos Group Temples

Preah Ko, Bakong, Lolei

Three temples Preah Ko, Bakong and Lolei, 15km South-East of Siem Reap town, comprise the Roluos Group of monuments. They are closed together and extend over an area of 3km east of Great Lake. The Roluos group, dating from the late ninth century, is the earliest site of the 600-year Angkor Period. The three temples belonging to this important group have similarities of architecture, decoration materials and construction methods which combine to reveal the beginning of “Classic Period of Khmer Art”.

Background

Roluos is the name of the village and the site of an ancient center of Khmer civilization known as Hariharalaya meaning the “abode of Hari (Visnu) and Hara (Siva)”. After Jayavarman II established his capital to Hariharalaya, perhaps for a better source of food or for defence purposes. He died at Roluos in 850. It is generally believed that his successor remained there until the capital was moved to Yasodharapura in 905.

Preah Ko

Lay Out: The center of the temple of Preah Ko is a group of six towers in two rows, built on a common terrace; it is enclosed by a first square wall of 60m each side. The second wall is 95m each side; it has the same entrances and encloses the library and annexes of mixed construction. The outer enclosure is 800m by 450m and doubtless a fence of stakes. The three towers in the front row are for paternal ancestors with male guardians flanking the door ways. The three in the back row are for maternal ancestors. Those ancestors were named as Gods and goddesses and Çiva Lingas were installed, representing the paternal ancestors.

  • Sri Thivindresvara for father.
  • Sri Thivindradevi fo mother.
  • Sri Paramesvara for Jayavarman II.
  • Srir Dharanindradevi for the wife of Jayavarman II.
  • Sri Rudresvara for materanl grand father.
  • ……………….for maternal grand mother.

Bakong Temple

(Kong of paternal ancestor)

Background:

Bakong was the central temple of the capital of Hariharalaya. It fulfilled for Hariharalaya the same role which the Bakheng played for Yaçodharapura. This monument shows the first type of plan of concentric enclosures, which, after the rectangular system. It is a Mount temple representing the cosmic Mount Meru. five levels leading to the central sanctury corresponds to the world of mythical beings:

  • Nagas–layer
  • Garuda–layer
  • Raksasas–layer
  • Yaksas–layer
  • Maharajas–layer
  • Bakong Temple

Lolei Temple

The temple of Lolei, which like the Mebon, occupies an island in the middle of the artificial lake (Baray Indratadaka), only the two tiered pyramid with four of the six towers which had been planned, remain intact. The four towers are, contrary to normal practice and in spite of the fact that the first plan was abandoned, completely finished. Now they are very badly ruined. A sandstone channel in the shape of a cross situated in the centre of the four towers. The channel extend in the cardinal directions from a square pedestal for Linga. It is speculated that holy water poured over the Linga flowed in the channels. According to an inscription found at the temple, this Baray used for irrigation the area of Hariharalaya. The king Yaçovarman I: the first founder of the city Yaçodharapura. Birth Name : Yaçovardhana, when he came to the throne he was named Yaçovarman. He ordered to build 100 hermitages called Yaçodharacrm for every province in the whole country. According to the stele at Sdok Kok Thom “Paramaçivaloka had founded Yaçodharapura and he also brought Devaraja from Hariharalaya and installed in the new city”. “Royal Chaplain Vamaçiva had installed Devaraja in the middle of the city”. Central Mount is Phnom Bakheng for installation of Linga Yaçodhareçvara (893) He also ordered to build the Eastern Baray: Yaçodharatadaka (7000m by 1800m) for the purpose of water supply. On the southern bank of this Baray he also built pilgrimages for religious purposes.

  • Brahmanasrm for Çivait vehicle
  • Vaisnasrm for Viçnuit vehicle
  • Saugatasrm for Buddhism

He began to build some temples:

  • Sikhariçvara on the Preah Vihea Mountain, dedicated to Çiva.
  • Bhadreçvara at Çivapura (Phnom Sandok)
  • On Phnom Bok dedicated to Trimurti.
  • On Phnom Krom dedicated to Trimurti.

He was dead at 910 and got the posthumous name “Paramaçivaloka”.

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