Kor Sak – The forgotten temple near Preah Pithu

Kor Sak – The forgotten temple near Preah Pithu

Anyone who has heard of the Kor Sak temple during their research has the rare good fortune to belong to a very select group: Knowledge of the temple complex seems to be one of the best-kept insider tips around when planning a trip to Cambodia. For outsiders, this is not necessarily entirely understandable: the temple is already a little dilapidated, but all the more magical and enchanted for it and therefore worth seeing in its own way. The fact that there are hardly any travel reports here that discuss the beauty of the temple and recommend a visit is therefore a little surprising.

In general, it can be said: Yes, the Kor Sak complex is accessible to visitors and in any case worth a visit. Due to its location directly at the Angkor site, no special planning is required here – as long as you already want to explore the better-known sites of Angkor anyway. Here it is simply important to know that there is Kor Sak (past the tourist crowds to this very special gem) and it can be easily reached via the west entrance. There is signage on site.

When entering Kor Sak, the first thing that strikes the visitor is the fact how strongly nature has reclaimed its space – as in the larger temples from the Khmer era – and now claims the place for itself. Even if the temple has already decayed to a certain extent (along the way the rocks line the path), it is still clearly recognizable which appearance and structure the builders probably wanted to achieve at that time.

Nothing is known today about the former use of the temple. Because the ravages of time may have worn away the walls, there are no inscriptions or drawings on the stone walls that could have given us an insight into the use of the building. What we do know, however, is that the temple was probably built in the early 12th century.

Thus, for many visitors, the Kor Sak temple is proverbially “not quite fish or fowl”: on the one hand, with its location directly at the Angkor site, it is part of a large and powerful ensemble, but on the other hand, the lack of historical assignability and the general condition of the structure have almost made it disappear into insignificance – at least from a tourist perspective. All the more reason for particularly eager Angkor explorers to take the time here and explore this small but fine temple in peace.