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Angkor VIP tour - Ta Keo「ប្រាសាទតាកែវ」

Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
Ta Keo「ប្រាសាទតាកែវ」
  • Date: Late 10th century
  • Style: Khleang
  • Highlights:  This giant temple-mountain stands out for being the first one to be built entirely of sandstone, a stone used exclusively by Khmer builders taken from the nearby Kulen mountains. Sandstone made it possible to create elaborate carvings and bas-reliefs, despite its tendency to flake when used for upright supports (against the way its layers were laid down). Together with Pre Rup, Ta Keo is a temple-mountain, with 5 sanctuary towers arranged in a quincunx (like the 5 side in a dice) built on the uppermost level, with one central gopura higher than the rest as symbolic depiction of Mount Meru - home of the gods, surrounded by moat that represents the sea. It was left unfinished as carving had just begun when the works stopped, hence the lack of decorations in many of the blocks.

Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
Quite excited to see a major departure from what we had been visiting during the day. The first towers show intricate carvings in the sandstone, with a style notably different from the later phases. Also notable is the cruciform gopura  quite different from the rounded ones in other temples.
Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
The first block of stairs is rather straightforward, built in wood with reasonable height.
Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
What comes after was not as funny, despite smiling at the base I assure you that for a 170cm-tall person this is quite a challenge.
Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
I eventually made it.
Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
Going for the last climb, up to the top of Mount Meru, can you spot me? The other guy looks like a pro-climber while I am more of lady-fighting-her-way-through-a-Gucci-sale type of situation.
Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
To find the main deity in a sunny room. Gotta love their golden clothes.
Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor
Ta Keo temple, ancient Angkor

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