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Why Prasat Kravan is special ?
Prasat Kravan temple was built in 921 by a group of nobility, not the King. It is made of brick and plaster, and was dedicated to the Indian god Vishnu. Unlike other temples at Angkor, it has an unusual five-part facade with all the towers in a row. The interior of the sanctuaries contain unique interior brick bas-reliefs, which are not found anywhere else at Angkor. The bas-reliefs depict several incarnations of Vishnu, including his appearance in the form of Vamana, a dwarf who took possession of the world by taking three enormous strides across the land. Another notable brick bas-relief is a depiction of Vishnu's consort Lakshmi and several of her attendants.
What to explore at Prasat Kravan?
- The monument is enclosed by a moat, which is crossed by a small causeway in the Western section of the temple grounds. East of the towers is a large cruciform terrace, which might have been where an entrance gate was which was probably built out of wood or other perishable material since nothing of it remains today. In front of each of the sanctuary towers is a stairway that was guarded by lion statues, some of which still remain.
- The interior of the central sanctuary contains three bas reliefs of Vishnu, sculpted directly into the brick wall. One of the reliefs depicts a storey from the Bhagavata Purana, an ancient Hindu tale originating from India. The scene shows “the three giant steps of Vishnu”. In the tale, Vishnu comes to earth in the shape of the dwarf Vamana. Vishnu requests Bali, King of the Asura demons, to be given a plot of land he could cover with three foot steps. As soon as the King agreed to the request, Vishnu reveals his real size and powers and with three steps covers the entire universe.
How to get to Prasat Kravan?
It's located at Angkor area south of the artificial lake or baray called Srah Srang. From Siem Reap, take the road to Angkor Wat. At the moat of Angkor Wat, turn right. Travel a short distance until your reach Prasat Kravan on your right.
- Fabulous temples with great historical significance
- A hidden gem in Angkor area
- Echoes of Champa
- Best bricks carvings ever
- Strange, simple, attractive
Prasat Kravan, Cambodia
Tips for you
This temple will come on your right when you are travelling from Angkor Wat towards Banteay Kdei. From the distance or from outside, you won't find anything of much interest. Thus not many people stop here. However, the temples contain some hidden gems in the form of astonishing brickwork.There are 5 small temples in a row all on one platform. The temple complex was constructed using bricks and vegetable paste, no mortar. The inner walls of the central temple are decorated with giant images of Vishnu's Vamana avatar and of Vishnu riding Garuda. Another temple has images of Laxmi.You can easily see the temples in about 15-20 minutes but it is well worth the time.
Prasat Kravan is renowned for its unique and stunning brick bas-reliefs of Hindu deities carved into its interior walls - the only known examples in all of Khmer art. It is also unusual in that no mortar was used in its construction. As a result, it has attracted considerable conservation efforts, which still continue today. The five towered brick structure was reputedly built by a high-ranking official, which explains its rather remote location, since only royals were allowed to build close to the city centre. This is a beautiful, quiet spot and a very unusual temple which will delight photographers. Read up on the Hindu deities before your visit, so you know which is which.
At the end of a long day we were presented with our last temple before leaving Angkor. This was the relatively small and uncomplicated Prasat Kravan. On approaching the temple is was clear to see a five structure brick built complex on a common plinth. Fairly simple yet somehow endearing. On walking around to what I believe is the front ( opposite side to the approach ) there are some delightful stairs and also each part is open offering a wonderful view of some internal sculptured brickwork. I found this whole simplicity and size to be a welcome break from the complex nature of the many temples we had visited earlier. This, I understand, was also constructed in the 10 th century so one of the older constructed temples. Many will pass this and you may just find it one too many but I thought this was superb. Different in many respects to what we had seen earlier and superb in how simple it was/is.
This temple will come on your right when you are travelling from Angkor Wat towards Banteay Kdei. From the distance or from outside, you won't find anything of much interest. Thus not many people stop here. However, the temples contain some hidden gems in the form of astonishing brickwork. There are 5 small temples in a row all on one platform. The temple complex was constructed using bricks and vegetable paste, no mortar. The inner walls of the central temple are decorated with giant images of Vishnu's Vamana avatar and of Vishnu riding Garuda. Another temple has images of Laxmi. You can easily see the temples in about 15-20 minutes but it is well worth the time.