The Prasat Bei is an early 10th century Hindu temple built by King Yasovarman I. The small temple was dedicated to Shiva and oriented towards the East. Its name translates to “the three towers”.

The sanctuary towers are located about 300 meters West of the South gate, between the Phnom Bakheng temple and the moat surrounding Angkor Thom. Their style reminds of the Prasat Kravan, that has five towers built around the same time.

Prasat Bei Overview

"Prasat Bei" means "three towers". And that is exactly what you see here. Three brick Prasats share a single laterite platform. The towers, supposedly dedicated to the Hindu trinity Brahma, Shiva, Vishnu, stand in a north-south row, with sandstone doorways to the east and false doors on the other sides, as usual. The only complete tower is the central one, it contained a Lingam, the phallus symbolizing Shiva's power. The lintels of the central and the southern towers are good examples of typical Bakheng-style stone carvings. They depict Indra on his three-headed elephant Airavata. The lintel of the north tower is unfinished and allows studying the carving techniques.

There are remains of a small shrine in the front of Prasat Bei. A sandstone door frame still stands upright, and a Lingam is placed at the centre. Balusters and lintels have beautiful carvings. It is supposed to be a kind of entrance of Prasat Bei. This structure and the ruined Prasat further west (which is next to the main road and very close to the famous Angkor Thom South Gate) are sometimes counted as a separate temple complex called Thma Bay Kaek. There is a kneeling bull statue called Nandi in front of the Prasat's remnants. In this Prasat, a hidden gold relic treasure was discovered, consisting of five gold leaves, one bearing the image of Shiva's bull Nandi. The small structure further north was dedicated to Shiva's wife Uma. Her torso still remains in situ.

Prasat Bei was one of the many temples once surrounding the Phnom Bakheng, the natural hill with Yashovarman's state temple, right in the centre of his capital Yashodharapura. Prasat Bei is sometimes ascribed to his son and second successor Ishanavarman II. But not much is known about this king, who obviously was a weak ruler. He was soon overcome by his cousin, the regional ruler of Koh Ker, who then became the king of the Khmer empire.

Ishanavarman II is only mentioned in an inscription in Tuol Ker from 968, as a ruler in the year 925/6. The inscription uses his posthumous name Paramarudraloka.

Prasat Bei is very easy to find. Just in front of Angkor Thom's South Gate you only have to walk a few hundred metres along the Angkor Thom city moat to the west. Baksei Chamkrong is close-by, too.

What to see at Prasat Bei?

The Prasat Bei consists of a line of three brick towers on a single laterite platform. A single staircase in front of the central tower gives access to the platform, that is aligned North South measuring 24 meters long by 10 meters wide. The diminishing tiers on top of the sanctuaries are missing, except for the central tower.

The North tower was never finished; the sculptures on the lintel over the doorway is only a rough outline. The lintels on the central and South tower contain depictions of Indra on the three headed elephant Airavata. The central sanctuary houses a linga set on a pedestal.

Planning to visit Prasat Bei

Temple Facts

  • Date: 10th century AD
  • Religion: Hinduism
  • Built By: Yasovarman I
  • Dedicated To: Shiva
  • Style: Bekheng
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime
  • Length of Visit: 15 - 30 minutes
  • Temple Pass: Required (included in the pass to the Whole Angkor Complex)

Location

Prasat Bei is located on the moat of Angkor Thom near the South Gate. It’s only a few hundred metres from Phnom Bakheng, Baksei Chamkrong and Thma Bay Kaek.

Check the location of Prasat Bei on the below Google Maps for your reference

Getting There

You will need your walking shoes for this temple! Just before you get to the Angkor Thom South Gate causeway, you can stop your driver, turn west and walk the 100m or so to Prasat Bei. If you’re cycling, then you can ride up to the temple. You can also cut through the jungle and get to Baksei Chamkrong this way too.

Best time to visit Prasat Bei

You should visit Prasat Bei before noon in order to see the main facade in the sunlight. The ticket will not be checked but is obligatory for driving the road from Siem Reap to Angkor Thom.

Prasat Bei Tours

As most tours of Angkor Wat will pass through Angkor Thom at some stage, you could easily quickly stop and take a look at Prasat Bei. If you’re heading through the South Gate of Angkor Thom on your journey, then it’s only a short detour. Popular tours which come by here include the Sunrise Tour, Sunset Tour, Small Circuit Tour, and the Grand Circuit Tour.

Accommodation

There are no hotels in the Angkor Park. Most visitors to Prasat Bei will find a hotel in Siem Reap town. The town has grown to become a large tourist hub in recent years and you’ll find hotels to suit all tastes and budgets.

Here is Siem Reap Travel Guide

Why Visit Prasat Bei?

You might want to visit this temple if you want to see something different than everyone else. There’s not much to see, but it’s a nice quiet spot. So if you’re looking for a secluded spot to do some meditation or get some photos, then Prasat Bei would be a good option.

History of Prasat Bei

Not much is known about Prasat Bei. It’s a small and relatively insignificant temple when compared to the other temples nearby. It was built in the 10th century by King Yasovarman I as a Hindu temple dedicated to Shiva.

It’s likely that the temple was abandoned at some point in the 16th century.

Prasat Bei was rediscovered by Henri Marchal, the French explorer who dedicated much of his life to Angkor. In the 1960s, the temple was restored by the École française d’Extrême-Orient (EFEO).

Nowadays, Prasat Bei sits alone on the shore of the moat surrounding Angkor Thom.

The Layout & Design of Prasat Bei

Prasat Bei is a line of three towers which sits on the north-south line. The brick structures are fairly small. With all three towers combined they measure 24m x 10m.

The tops of the two outer temples are missing, but the central tower remains largely intact.

It would appear that the north tower was never actually finished. The lintels on the south and central tower show depictions of Indra. However, on the north tower, the lintel doesn’t show anything.

Photos of Prasat Bei

image
24-hour response
guaranteed!
REQUEST A FREE QUOTE

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!

Comments
SIMILAR BLOG ARTICLES

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.

...more

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

...more

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.

...more

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.

...more

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. 

...more

Koh Ker is a remote archaeological site in northern Cambodia about 120 kilometres (75 mi) away from Siem Reap and the ancient site of Angkor. It is a jungle filled region that is sparsely populated. More than 180 sanctuaries were found in a protected area of 81 square kilometres (31 sq mi). Only about two dozen monuments can be visited by tourists because most of the sanctuaries are hidden in the forest and the whole area is not fully demined.

Koh Ker is the modern name for an important city of the Khmer empire. In inscriptions the town is mentioned as Lingapura (city of lingams) or Chok Gargyar (translated as city of glance, or as iron tree forest).

Within this article, you will learn everything about Koh Ker before visiting this ancient temple ruin.

...more
NOT READY YET?

We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below the detailed information for our different destinations, our plans by travel theme or time frame to learn more before moving forward...

places to visit in Cambodia
Siem Reap
bee-white Siem Reap

Tonle Sap Lake
bee-white Tonle Sap Lake

One of the most fish abundant lakes in the world and supports 360 floating villages and thousands of waterbirds.

Phnom Penh
bee-white Phnom Penh

Battambang
bee-white Battambang

Sihanoukville
bee-white Sihanoukville

Koh Rong Island
bee-white Koh Rong Island

Cambodia PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
Must-see
bee-white Must-see

Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

Luxury
bee-white Luxury

Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Wellness & Leisure
bee-white Wellness & Leisure

Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

Cruise
bee-white Cruise

The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

Cycling
bee-white Cycling

Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Honeymoon
bee-white Honeymoon

Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Unseen
bee-white Unseen

Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Trek & Hike
bee-white Trek & Hike

Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Family
bee-white Family

The combination of fun and educational activities

Cambodia PLANS BY TIME FRAME
white-icon About 1 week
yellow-icon About 1 week
white-icon About 2 weeks
yellow-icon About 2 weeks
white-icon About 3 weeks
yellow-icon About 3 weeks
white-icon About 4 weeks
yellow-icon About 4 weeks
image
Already got a plan? REQUEST A FREE QUOTE
Cambodia TRAVEL TIPS & GUIDE

Either are you wondering about best time to visit, visa policy, or how to get the cheapest flight, we have your back!
WHAT MORE? Choose the country you plan to visit, then search for your nationality below to see our special travel tips & advice for your country. CONTACT US if you cannot find yours.

Best Time to Visit
bee-white Best Time to Visit
Tourist Visa Policy
bee-white Tourist Visa Policy
Budget & Currency
bee-white Budget & Currency
Getting Flight There
bee-white Getting Flight There
Getting Around
bee-white Getting Around
Vaccinations
bee-white Vaccinations
Local Etiquette
bee-white Local Etiquette
Safety & Precautions
bee-white Safety & Precautions
Tipping Customs
bee-white Tipping Customs
Useful addresses
bee-white Useful addresses
Internet & Phone
bee-white Internet & Phone
Buying & Bargaining
bee-white Buying & Bargaining
Packing List
bee-white Packing List
Travel Insurance
bee-white Travel Insurance
CHECK OUT OTHER DESTINATIONS
Vietnam
bee-white Vietnam
A land of staggering natural beauty and cultural complexities, of dynamic megacities and hill-tribe villages, Vietnam is both exotic and compelling.
Thailand
bee-white Thailand
Friendly and food-obsessed, hedonistic and historic, cultured and curious, Thailand tempts visitors with a smile as golden as the country's glittering temples and tropical beaches.
Myanmar
bee-white Myanmar
It's a new era for this extraordinary and complex land, where the landscape is scattered with gilded pagodas and the traditional ways of Asia endure.
Laos
bee-white Laos
Vivid nature, voluptuous landscapes and a vibrant culture collide with a painful past and optimistic future to make Laos an enigmatic experience for the adventurous.
loading
back top