Prasat Kravan is a 10th century Hindu temple which was originally dedicated to Vishnu. There are five brick towers which are oriented to the east and surrounded by a small moat. Unusually, the temple wasn’t built by the king, instead it was constructed by high ranking officials during the reign of King Harshavarman I or Ishanavarman II.

The temple is often included in both the Grand Circuit and Small Circuit tours. If you have time on your tour, then it’s one definitely worth visiting. Prasat Kravan is in pretty good condition and its symmetry and lines make for a great photo opportunity.

Overview of Prasat Kravan

Prasat Kravan is not as spectacular as other Khmer monuments, but well worth a stop for a visit when driving along the Grand Circuit the Small Circuit tours, both of them lead to Prasat Kravan. It is located about 3 km east of Angkor Wat. The modern name "Kravan" or "Kravanh", pronounced "krauvan" or "krouvan", means cardamom. It refers to a cardamon tree that stood here. The original Sanskrit name of the sanctuary is unknown.

Prasat Kravan was a private temple. This means it was not founded by a king, but by a dignitary or priest. From the tenth century onwards, kings granted this privilege to Brahmins or other court officials. Prasat Kravan was consecrated in 921 by a nobleman called Mahidharavarman, who was a high official at the court of Harshavarman I (ca. 910-925).

Harshavarman was the less powerful son of the very first king residing in Angkor, Yashovarman I. Harshavarman I's cousin was a local commander in Koh Ker who became more powerful than the kings of Angkor and defeated them and became their successor, but he continued to reside in Koh Ker.

It was during this period of Angkor's weakness that Prasat Kravan was built. It takes up elements of the style of Koh Ker, particularly those dynamics in sculptural illustrations the style of Koh Ker is famous for.

Prasat Kravan was cleaned from vegetation by French archaeologists in the 1930s. The two towers with superstructures were restored in the 1960s. Modern replacement bricks are labeled CA ("Conservation Angkor"). New research and restoration works began recently and are still in progress. They are supported by the G.A.C.P. (German Apsara Conservation Project).

The temple is oriented to the east and surrounded by a small moat. Its exterior is striking for its classical lines and symmetry. The central and the south tower have superstructures which take advantage of false perspective by simple means of diminishing tiers.

The sanctuary's interiors are remarkable for the large bas-relief depictions of Vishnu and Lakshmi that have been carved into the walls of reddish brick, connected by a vegetable compound. This type of sculptured artwork is rather common in Cham temples, but rare in known Khmer monuments.

Below is the glimpse of Prasat Kravan in 360o viewing:

Planning Your Visit to Prasat Kravan

Temple Facts

  • Date: 921 AD (early 10th century AD)
  • Religion: Hinduism
  • Built By: High Ranking Hindu Priests
  • Dedicated To: Vishnu
  • Style: Early Angkorean
  • Best Time to Visit: Morning - Best for Photography
  • Length of Visit: 30 - 60 minutes
  • Temple Pass: Required (included in the pass to whole Angkor Complex)


Prasat Kravan is located on the road from Angkor Wat to Srah Srang. It’s about 1.5 km from the Apsara Road and around 5km from Angkor Wat.

You can check the location of Prasat Kravan in the below Google Maps for your reference:

Getting There

If Prasat Kravan is your first stop when entering the park, then arrive to Angkor Archaeological Park by the Apsara Road. Turn right and then after around 1.5km you’ll see Prasat Kravan on your right.

Many guests will visit Prasat Kravan on the small or grand circuit tours. If this is the case, then it will usually be the last temple of the day before you go back to your hotel. Most tours will go around the temples in a clockwise fashion. If you decide to do the temples in reverse order, then it will be the first temple on your tour.

Best time to visit

There are two very good times to visit Prasat Kravan, the early morning and the late afternoon. In the morning the main facades are lighted up in the sun, in the afternoon you can see the five towers mirrored in the surrounding moat, but it is usually dry between February and May. You need an Angkor ticket for access to Prasat Kravan.

Prasat Kravan Tours

Prasat Kravan is often featured on both the Small Angkor Wat Circuit and the Grand Angkor Circuit tours. It’s not as popular as temples such as Bayon or Ta Prohm, but it’s definitely worth a visit.

You wouldn’t usually come to the park just to visit Prasat Kravan because even if you take photos of everything here, you’ll be done in an hour or so. You might want to combine Prasat Kravan with other temples in the vicinity such as Prasat Bat Chum and Banteay Kdei.


There are no hotels located inside the Angkor Archaeological Park and most guests will stay at a hotel in Siem Reap town. Siem Reap has become a large tourist town and there are hundreds of hotels to choose from. You will find everything from small and cheap guest houses to large luxury resorts.

Here is our Siem Reap Travel Guide

Why Visit Prasat Kravan?

You should visit Prasat Kravan because it offers a unique architectural experience which is rarely found in Khmer temples. The bas-reliefs are also still in pretty good condition.

Although Prasat Kravan is fairly popular with guests, it isn’t the most popular. This means that you can still get some great photos without lots of other tourists getting in the shots. The symmetrical towers also make for a good photo opportunity.

What to see at Prasat Kravan?

The five sanctuary towers

The monument is enclosed by a moat, which is crossed by a small causeway in the Western section of the temple grounds. East of the towers is a large cruciform terrace, which might have been where an entrance gate was which was probably built out of wood or other perishable material since nothing of it remains today.

In front of each of the sanctuary towers is a stairway that was guarded by lion statues, some of which still remain. The entrance door of the central tower contains sculpted Dvarapala guardian figures set in niches. An inscription on the doorpost of the 3½ meter wide central tower mentions that a statue of Vishnu was dedicated here in the year 921. The central sanctuary is still topped with its original four tiers, the Southern sanctuary has two of its tiers remaining, the other three have none.

Bas reliefs of the central sanctuary

The interior of the central sanctuary contains three bas reliefs of Vishnu, sculpted directly into the brick wall. One of the reliefs depicts a storey from the Bhagavata Purana, an ancient Hindu tale originating from India. The scene shows “the three giant steps of Vishnu”.

In the tale, Vishnu comes to earth in the shape of the dwarf Vamana. Vishnu requests Bali, King of the Asura demons, to be given a plot of land he could cover with three footsteps. As soon as the King agreed to the request, Vishnu reveals his real size and powers and with three steps covers the entire universe.

Other reliefs show an eight armed Vishnu surrounded by a large number of worshipers in 6 lines, and Vishnu on his mount Garuda. The North tower shows sculptures of Lakshmi, Vishnu’s consort. This sanctuary contained a pedestal and was possibly dedicated to Lakshmi.

Other Bas-Reliefs

There are also two bas-reliefs of Lakshmi in the north tower. Lakshmi is the consort of Vishnu. In both of these depictions, the goddess is surrounded by her followers. In one, she is holding Vishnu’s discus and Shiva’s trident. In the other, she is holding lotuses.

Layout and Design of Prasat Kravan

Kravan is an unusual arrangement of five towers in a row on one terrace. They are built of brick; the lintels and columns are of sandstone.

Central Tower

This is the only tower with recessed tiers intact, which are visible on the interior. The columns are octagonal, with four bare sides and sandstone rings. This tower enclosed a linga on a pedestal. An inscription on the pillars gives the date 921 for the erection of the statue of Visnu on the interior Decoration (exterior): The east side of the Central Tower is sculpted with male guardians in shallow niches and chevrons and framed figures on the pilasters.

A frieze of small heads adorns the lintel. Decoration (interior): The main decoration of this tower, on the left, depicts Visnu taking three steps to span the universe and to assure the gods of the possession of the world. It comprises a standing image of Visnu (with four arms) carrying his attributes-a disc, a ball, a conch and a club.

One of his feet rests on a pedestal; nearby a person is meditating and another one is walking on a lotus held by a woman on a background of undulating lines representing the waves of the ocean.
On the right, Visnu (with eight arms) is framed with six registers of people meditating and a giant lizard. This sculpture on brick was formerly coated with stucco and was probably highlighted with colours.

North Tower

The north tower was dedicated to the five aspects of the goddess Shri Lakshmi. Vishnu's consort is depicted on three walls inside the northern tower, and on the lintel. Her fifth aspect was represented by a statue, now missing. The wall on the left shows a four-armed Lakshmi, strangely holding attributes indicating Shiva's instead of Vishnu's consort.

Two attendants kneel down at her side. The two-armed Lakshmi sculpture on the east wall is less well preserved, here Lakshmi is accompanied by four adorants. There are only few parts remaining from the reliefs on the northern wall.

South Tower

The walls on the interior have no decoration A lintel on the exterior with Vishnu on his mount, the Garuda, is skillfully modeled.

History of Prasat Kravan

Prasat Kravan was built in 921 AD (10th century) by high-ranking officials under the reign of Harshavarman I or Ishanavarman II. The temple was originally dedicated to Vishnu. Other than this, not much is known about the temple or what it was used for.

Like most of the temples in the region, it is thought that Prasat Kravan was abandoned at some point in the 16th century.

In the 1930s, the site was cleaned by two French explorers – Georges Trouve and Henri Marchal. Work on the site was interrupted by the Japanese invasion during World War 2. In the 1960s, the site was restored by Bernard Philippe Groslier and his team. Some new bricks were added this time. These new bricks are easily identifiable as they were marked with the acronym “CA” which stood for “Conservation Angkor”.

Photos of Prasat Kravan

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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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