Image copyrights belong to authors
Why Prasat Ak Yum is special ?
Ak Yum (Khmer: ប្រាសាទអកយំ) is an ancient temple in the Angkor region of Cambodia. The first structure on the site was a single-chamber brick sanctuary, probably constructed in the latter part of the 8th Century, scholars believe. Later it was remade into a larger stepped pyramid structure, with a base approximately 100 meters square. The expansion probably took place in the early 9th Century during the reign of King Jayavarman II, who is widely recognized as the founder of the Khmer Empire. When the West Baray reservoir was built in the 11th Century, Ak Yum was partially buried by the southern dike. The site was excavated in the 1930s under the direction of archaeologist George Trouvé.
What to explore at Prasat Ak Yum?
At first glance, the ruins of Prasat Ak Yum appear to be nothing more than a pile of rubbish. For this reason, many travelers and organized tours steer clear of this obscure monument. But for the serious Angkor enthusiast, Prasat Ak Yum is a must-see gateway into the pre-Angkorian period of the Khmer people.
In essence, a temple-mountain is a mound or platform that is made of stone and/or other earthen materials. Typically, another structure is erected on top of the mound. In the case of Prasat Ak Yum, a prasat (tower) was erected on the mound. Prasat Ak Yum’s mound is a zigurrat, or step pyramid. A step pyramid is a structure made up of several layers, stacked on top of one another. Each ascending layer is smaller than the one before it.
The temple-mountain architectural formula of Prasat Ak Yum paved the way for the more famous temples of the Angkor period, most notably Angkor Wat.
Ancient inscriptions located on some of the temple’s jamb stones reveal that the patron deity of Prasat Ak Yum was Gambhiresvara, the Hindu god of the depths.
How to get to Prasat Ak Yum?
Prasat Ak Yum is situated on the southern bank of the West Baray, about 1 km from the baray’s southwest corner. This is not a popular temple destination. Because of its obscurity, many tuk tuk drivers and tour guides may not even know where it is located.
- Ak Yum – an implicit beauty
- Great historical site to explore
- Simple, natural, mysterious
- Beautiful ruins, beautiful history
- Nice spot for culture lovers
Ak Yum Cambodia
Tips for you
This ancient temple is ignored by many people due to its obscurity and it may appear to be nothing special. But it’s really attractive if you take time and explore. I visit this spot and I found it very fascinating. If you have time, you should make a short trip to this temple