Capital of Cambodia from AD. 921. Likely called Lingapura (City of Lingas). Jayavarman IV moved capital to Koh Ker.
In AD 802, King Jayavaman II declared himself the king of kings on the Kulen Mountains near Siem Reap. From this time onward Cambodia’s rulers centered their capitals in the area of Siem Reap. The first major capital on the Tonle Sap Plain was Hariharalaya (now known as Rolous) outsite of Siem Reap.
The capital shifted from Hariharalaya to the area where most of the temples now stand in the late 9th century. This new capital was called Yasodharapura in honour of the founding King Yasovarman I.
The capital of Angkor was to remain in this area for the next half millennium except for a brief interregnum when the capital shifted to Koh Ker.
Koh Ker is a massive site and appropriate time must be taken if the visitor is to see as many temples as possible. The largest feature at the site is the ancient baray (a large man- made lake), the Rahal. These reservoirs are often interpreted as representing the cosmic ocean of Hindo lore. A line of temples run a long the eastern side of the baray. To northwest of the baray lies the most significant monument at Koh Ker, the Prang or stepped pyramid. There are three temples on the west side of the road leading south. To the east of the road, south of the baray, there are four temples, Prasat Damrei, Prasat Ang Khna, Prasat Andong and Prasat Khmau. There is also a carved wet -season riverbed near Prasat damrei called Kbal Damrei.
Visitors to Koh Ker will be pleased by the pleasant surroundings and especially to find themselves in an exclusive group as a few people are currently visiting the temples. There some engaging activities to partake of including an ox-cart tour of the site. The proceeds from this go to help the local villagers improve their incomes and to protect the temple from further looting.
Take a day to visit Koh Ker and take home a very special memory of Cambodia, one that few others have and be sure to take a ride in an ox cart or to try the traditional palm sugar candies!!!