Phnom Krom – a small mountain with a view over Siem Reap and Tonle Sap

Phnom Krom – a small mountain with a view over Siem Reap and Tonle Sap

The Phnom Krom temple complex was built in the 9th and 10th centuries during the reign of King Yasovarman I and is located on Tonle Sap Lake, about 10 kilometers southwest of Siem Reap. The temple is Hindu and dedicated to the gods Shiva, Brahma and Vishnu. The three square towers of the structure each represent one of the deities. Phnom Krom is actually located on a hill, the top of which is about 140 meters high. In addition to Phnom Krom, King Yasovarman I had two other hilltop temples built, Phnom Bok and Phnom Bakheng.

Tempel Phnom Krom

Temple complex on Phnom Krom

King Yasovarman I was generally one of the most formative rulers of the region, as many structures were built under his reign, such as the Eastern Baray and the Lolei Temple. It was also he who first moved the capital to Angkor at that time.

The original overall condition of the temple complex is still reasonably well preserved, but the ravages of time have taken their toll on the details. Therefore, many of the carvings and decorations have also been irretrievably lost. The three towers have also collapsed at the top, just as the facades are now only in a slightly demolished version. Otherwise, however, they have managed to stand the test of time reasonably well. Most of the building was constructed of laterite. Around the temple is a long wall, parallel to which are three long halls that surround the courtyard. In the courtyard there are three more, but smaller buildings, two of which were built of sandstone.

In plan, the temple complex extends in a square shape. The only remnant of decorations can be found near the stairs.

The special thing for visitors is the magically beautiful sunset that can be experienced from the temple. Even though the climb to the top of the hill might be somewhat strenuous for untrained people, the experience is then definitely worth the effort. Especially due to the unique location at the Tonle Sap Lake and the flat plain around the hill on which Phnom Krom is located, full of rice fields, there are particularly breathtaking, unique impressions when the sun sinks into the horizon.

Aussicht vom Phnom Krom

View from Phnom Krom

Phnom Krom was located at the southern end of the railroad line of the same name, which was used by the French colonial occupiers to transport rock from a quarry located there to Siem Reap by means of a narrow-gauge railroad.

Little is known about the structural, architectural and archaeological significance of the temple. Especially because of the missing inscriptions and decorations, it is very difficult to assign the use of the temple.

Phnom Krom

View of the Phnom Krom