Lolei is the northernmost temple of the Roluos group of three late 9th century Hindu temples at Angkor, Cambodia, the others members of which are Preah Ko and the Bakong. Lolei was the last of the three temples to be built as part of the city of Hariharalaya that once flourished at Roluos, and in 893 the Khmer king Yasovarman I dedicated it to Shiva and to members of the royal family. 

The name "Lolei" is thought to be a modern corruption of the ancient name "Hariharalaya, which means "the city of Harihara." Once an island temple, Lolei was located on an island slightly north of centre in the now dry Indratataka baray, construction of which had nearly been completed under Yasovarman's father and predecessor Indravarman I. 

Scholars believe that placing the temple on an island in the middle of a body of water served to identify it symbolically with Mount Meru, home of the gods, which in Hindu mythology is surrounded by the world oceans.


Although Lolei is small it is worth a visit for its carvings and inscription. The temple of Lolei originally formed an island in the middle of a Baray (3,800 by 800 meters, 12,467 by 2,625 feet), now dry.

According to an inscription found at the temple the water in this pond was for use at the capital of Hariralaya and for irrigating the plains in the area.

Lolei Temple History

Lolei temple was built in 893 AD by Yasovarman I. It was built as a Hindu temple and dedicated to Shiva. It was the last of the temples to be built in what as called Hariharalaya. This city was once the capital city of the Angkor empire. In fact, the name Lolei is likely to come from the name Hariharalaya.

It once sat in the middle of an artificial island just north to the centre of Indratataka baray which was a huge reservoir. The reservoir has long since been dry. Historians think that the temple would have been a symbol of the mythical home of the Hindu gods, Mount Meru. Indratataka baray measured 4km by 750m and was dug as a source of drinking water for the capital.

The temple would have continued to be used after the capital city was moved to Yasodharapura, which is today known as Angkor Thom.
It’s thought that it was abandoned some time in the 16th century.

Nowadays, Lolei is quite a popular temple to visit, but nowhere near as popular as the temples in close vicinity to Angkor Wat.

Layout and Design

There are four towers at Lolei, all of which are still visible today. Each tower was built for Yasovarman’s ancestors. One for each of his parents and grandparents. The towers at the front are for his father and grandfather, while the temples at the back are for his mother and grandmother. The two shorter temples were for his parents and the two taller ones were for his grandparents. At the front and back there is one taller and one shorter tower.

The site would have had a wall surrounding the towers with an entrance building (gopura), but they no longer exist today.

Each tower is very decorative and includes carved devatas, lintels, and false doors. There are motifs and carvings of Indra of top his elephant – Airavata. There are also some 7-headed nagas and serpent monsters carved into the lintels too.

What to see at Lolei Temple?

Temple of the Roluos group, in the old capital Hariharalaya

Lolei is one of the temples of the Roluos group, the other ones being the Bakong, Preah Ko and Prasat Prei Monti. A Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva, Prasat Lolei was the last temple built in Hariharalaya, the old Khmer capital pre dating Angkor Thom by several centuries.

King Yasovarman I moved the capital of his empire from Hariharalaya further North West to Yasodharapura near current day Siem Reap, where he first built the Phnom Bakheng. A road from the North side of the Lolei temple led to the Phnom Bakheng temple in the new capital.

Prasat Lolei comprises of four sanctuary towers; no traces of other structures have been discovered. The sanctuary is similar in style to the nearby Preah Ko, which was built 14 years earlier.

Four sanctuary towers

The temple grounds were surrounded by a 90 meter long wall with gopura entrance buildings, of which nothing remains today. Four brick sanctuary towers, of which two are in fairly good state of preservation stand on a rectangular platform, preceded by a guardian lion.

The towers topped with four upper receding tiers were originally covered in stucco, of which nothing is left. The entrance door faces East, while there are false doors on the other three cardinal directions. Colonettes support the lintels over the entrances. Inscriptions on the door jambs give information about the date the temple’s main idols were dedicated.

King Yasovarman I dedicated the East two sanctuaries to his male ancestors. Flanking the doors are niches with sandstone carvings of armed dvarapala guardians. The West sanctuaries are dedicated to the female ancestors. The niches flanking the doors contain sandstone carvings of guardian ladies.

Lintels and pediments contain Hindu motifs, including Indra riding the three headed elephant Airavata, Nagas and makaras, a Kala (a monster usually depicted with large teeth and without upper jaw) with a divinity on its head, Vishnu on his mount Garuda, praying rishis and Ganesha riding his own trunk. In each tower is a sanctuary chamber where statues of the main idol were enshrined.

Active Buddhist temple next to the ancient Khmer sanctuaries

Next to the four sanctuary towers stands an active modern Buddhist temple. A viharn with very colorful murals covering the walls and ceiling enshrines a large seated image of the Buddha. Other temple structures include several pagodas and the kuti, the monks living quarters.

Central Sanctuary

Four brick tower with tiered upper portions, arranged in two rows, on the upper terrace make up the Central Sanctuaries. As the two-north towers are aligned on the east-west axis, it is possible the original plan had six towers, which probably shared a common base like that at Preah Ko.

Tip: The northeast tower is the best preserved. The entrances of the doors to the towers are cut from a single block of stone, as at Bakong. The corners of the towers on the east are decorated with male guardians holding tridents and those of the west with female divinities holding flywhisks. They are sculpted in sandstone with a brick casing. The panels of the false doors have multiple figures. The inscriptions on the doorframes are exceptionally fine.

The workmanship on the lintels is skilled and the composition balanced. Some noteworthy depictions are: Indra on an elephant with figures and Makaras spewing serpents (northeast tower); Visnu riding a Garuda with a branch of serpents (south-east tower).

Practical information

Temple Facts

  • Date: 893 AD (9th century)
  • Religion: Hinduism
  • Built By: Yasovarman I
  • Dedicated To: Shiva
  • Style: Preah Ko / Bakheng
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime
  • Length of Visit: 30 - 60 minutes
  • Temple Pass: Required


Lolei temple is located about 30 minutes from Siem Reap town in Bakong commune. Lolei village is home to the temple, a few small shops, a school and some local homes. It’s not too far away from the main road and the roads are good.

Getting There

To get to Lolei, head out of Siem Reap along National Road 6 towards Phnom Penh. After you pass the turning to Bakong temple and Bakong Commune Hall, there is a turning on the left. Keep heading for about 600 or 700 metres and you will see the temple on the left side.

As the temple is only around 15km or so from town, you have a choice of transport options. Tuk tuks can easily reach the site in around half an hour from the town. Many visitors also decide to cycle to see the three main temples at Roluos.

However, if you’re going to cycle, it’s better to stay away from the main road and take the country route. If you want to avoid road 6, you can head out along Road 60 (the same road as the Angkor Ticket Office) and keep going all the way until you reach Booyoung Country Club. Turn right and then take a left after the country club to reach Lolei temple.

Lolei Tours

Most visitors will visit Lolei in conjunction with the other temples in Roluos – Preah Ko, Bakong, and Prasat Prei Monti. If you stop for something to eat in the area, this small tour might take 3 or 4 hours. Many guests decide to make this a cycling tour as you can explore the Siem Reap countryside along the way.

The Roluos Group is also often combined with a visit to Beng Mealea or a floating village tour of Kampong Phluk or Kampong Khleang.

In Bakong commune, you will find some small local guest houses and homestays. There is also a Buddhist retreat in the area. However, due to the close proximity of Lolei to Siem Reap town, it’s most likely that you’ll stay in a hotel in Siem Reap.

The town has grown into a large tourist hub over the years with hundreds of hotels. There are hotels to suit all tastes and budgets.

Why Visit Lolei?

Although it’s only around 15km or so from Siem Reap, it’s enough for most visitors to give it a miss. You can explore Lolei without the crowds at Angkor Wat and it can be a much more peaceful experience. Without thousands of people in the way, you can take the time to get some great photos, and explore at your own pace.

Lolei Temple Photos

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My name is Jolie, I am a Vietnamese girl growing up in the countryside of Hai Duong, northern Vietnam. Since a little girl, I was always dreaming of exploring the far-away lands, the unseen beauty spots of the world. My dream has been growing bigger and bigger day after day, and I do not miss a chance to make it real. After graduating from the univesity of language in Hanoi, I started the exploration with a travel agency and learning more about travel, especially responsible travel. I love experiencing the different cultures of the different lands and sharing my dream with the whole world. Hope that you love it too!


Taking a cruise on the fascinating Mekong River offers a unique and memorable travel experience. The Mekong River, one of the longest rivers in Asia, flows through several countries, including China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Vietnam. Each destination along the river offers its own distinct cultural, historical, and natural attractions. In this article, we will go over what you can expect when cruising the Mekong River. 


Preah Vihear Temple (Prasat Preah Vihear) is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.

Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles.

Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north–south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand.

On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park.

The Khmer Empire’s various capitals thrived here from the 9th to 15th centuries, while their rulers presided over an empire that stretched from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. Including forested areas and newly discovered “suburbs” Angkor covers more than 400 square kilometers.

Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples - it appears on the nation’s flag - and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is an architectural triumph laden with artistic treasures like the bas-relief galleries that line many walls and tell enduring tales of Cambodian history and legend.

In other parts of Angkor such art depicts scenes of daily life - offering scholars a precious window into the past.

Reading the below epic guide for Angkor Archaeological Park, you will have all the information you need from its history, maps, best time to visit and so on to have the best out of your Angkor tours


Banteay Kdei Temple (Prasat Banteay Kdei), meaning "A Citadel of Chambers", also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells", is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. 

Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title "Maha paramasangata pada"), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.

This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.


Just east of Angkor Thom’s Victory Gate is Chau Say Tevoda. It was probably built during the second quarter of the 12th century, under the reign of Suryavarman II, and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. It has been renovated by the Chinese to bring it up to the condition of its twin temple, Thommanon.


Thommanon Temple is a Hindu temple site that's covered in intricate carvings and surrounded by forests in Angkor. The temple is in relatively excellent condition, thanks to extensive restoration work in the 1960s.

It was constructed about the same time as Angkor Wat. The style of architecture is quite evident in the towers and carvings, which are in very good condition. During the rainy season, the dampened sandstone offers great photo opportunities.

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex dates back between the 11th and 12th centuries. It is about 600 metres east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, just opposite Chau Say Tevoda. Even before restoration, Thommanon was in much a better condition than Chau Say Tevoda. Unlike the latter, which was built using wooden beams enclosed in stone, Thommanon Temple's entire structure was made out of stone. 


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