- Pre Rup
proper_name = Pre Rup
architecture = Khmer
Pre Rup (
Khmer: ប្រាសាទប្រែរូប) is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built as the state temple of King Rajendravarmanand dedicated in 961or 962. It is a temple mountain of combined brick, lateriteand sandstoneconstruction.
Located just south of the
East Baray, or eastern reservoir, Pre Rup is aligned on a north-south axis with the East Mebontemple, another creation of the reign of Rajendravarman. Pre Rup was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Its extensive laterite and brick give it a pleasing reddish tone that is heightened by early morning and late afternoon sunlight.
The temple has a square lay-out and two perimeter walls. A laterite causeway gives entry from the east; unfortunately, a modern road cuts across it. To either side inside the eastern gate is a group of three towers aligned north to south; one of the towers appears to have never been built or to have been dismantled later. Further ahead, through another gate, libraries lie to either side of the walkway. Steps lead toward the top level, with carved sitting stone lions arrayed at intermediate stages. At the top, five towers are arranged in a quincunx pattern--one at each corner of the square and one in the center. Deities carved as bas reliefs stand guard at either side of the central tower’s eastern door; its other doors are false doors. The temple has significant detailed carving in various places—in one scene, the god
Indrastands atop his three-headed elephant.
The temple’s name is a comparatively modern one meaning “turn the body." This reflects the common belief among Cambodians that funerals were conducted at the temple, with the ashes of the body being ritually rotated in different directions as the service progressed. Some archeologists believe that a long stone container at the base of the main eastern stairs of the temple was used in funerals.
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