The Roluos Group refers to a collection of four Angkor-era monuments, which are not located within the main Angkor Park, but instead near a small town named Roluos, 12km east of Siem Reap. The monuments are named Bakong, Preah Ko, Lolei, and Prei Monti.

The significance of these four temples is that they are the last remains of Hariharalaya, which was the second capital of the Angkor-era Khmer Empire. The temples were built by King Jayavarman II, who moved the capital to Roluos from Mahendraparvata. With a population matching that of modern-day Phnom Penh, Mahendraparvata was the original Angkor capital. It was located on the slopes of Phnom Kulen, a mountainous jungle plateau steeped in rich history.

The last king who lived at Hariharalaya was Yasovarman I. In 905 CE, he built the first major temple structure at Angkor called Phnom Bakheng and moved the capital there.

Planning your visit to Roluos Group of Temples

Temple Facts

  • Date: Late 9th century AD
  • Religion: Hinduism
  • Built By: Jayavarman II
  • Dedicated To: Unknown
  • Style: Preah Ko
  • Best Time to Visit: Anytime
  • Length of Visit: 1 - 2 Hours
  • Temple Pass: Required

How to Get There

Roluos Group is located a mere 12 km east of Siem Reap, just off of National Road 6. This is the same direction as Phnom Penh, therefore you should expect heavy traffic on the road. The road is sealed and smooth, so cycling is possible, however due to the traffic, it’s recommended that you arrange for a tuk-tuk to take you there and back. This can be set up by your hotel staff or directly with the seemingly thousands of idle tuk-tuk drivers that line the streets throughout Siem Reap.

Admission

Although the Roluos Group is not located within the Angkor Archaeological Park, a temple pass is required to visit these monuments. So make sure to buy one beforehand from the official ticket office, located on Road 60 near the entrance to the park. Temple passes cannot be purchased at Roluos!

Best Time to Visit

Visiting the Roluos group can be accomplished during a half-day tour from Siem Reap. It’s best to plan your visit for the morning, and arrange for a visit to Phsar Leu Market first. The market is on the way to the temples and is a fantastic and authentic place to visit. Many locals frequent this market, the largest in Siem Reap. No English is spoken, and you can immerse yourself in the rows of raw meat, fruit, vegetables, and wide varieties of household goods and other items.

One of our suggested itineraries is to group together Phaser Leu Market and the Roluos Group in the morning, and Wat Athvea at Phnom Krom in the afternoon. Phnom Krom is also an excellent location to view the sunset.

Why Visit Roluos Group?

You should visit the Roluos group because they are not as crowded as the other temples near Angkor Wat.

Moreover, the Roluos Group is also historically significant and most of the temples here are in excellent condition.

Temples of Roluos Group

Each temple at the Roluos group has unique and interesting characteristics:

Bakong

This is the highlight of the Roluos Group and is the first temple mountain of its style; it features five levels, with a center tower, and boasts an impressive height of 15 meters. It was the state temple at the center of Hariharalaya. It collapsed at some point but was reconstructed by the French between 1937 and 1945. It also features the beautiful Bakong Pagoda, which is modern and displays interesting murals. The pagoda is in great condition and is still in use.

Here is everything abot Bakong

Preah Ko

With statues of bulls surrounding it, it is no wonder that this temple’s name means “sacred bull”. It features beautifully preserved carvings and six towers. Inside each tower is a small, active shrine.

Here is everything abot Preah Ko

Lolei

This temple is unique in that it is an island temple. It is surrounded by a man-made reservoir, which is called baray in Khmer. The reservoir, though, is now dried up. The temple features four crumbling towers. This was the last temple that Yasovarman I built before moving the capital to the Angkor area.

Here is everything abot Lolei

Prei Monti

Prasat Prei Monti (also spelt Prey Monti or Preimonti) is a group of three brick towers situated 2 km south of the temple-pyramid Bakong in Roluos. 300 m west of the Bakong there is a signboard indicating the correct route to Prei Monti to the south.

The three Prasats of Prei Monti are located in the east of a rectangular compound, which once was surrounded by a moat. In this respect it appears similar to the Preah Ko shrine of Roluos: a sanctuary close to the eastern edge of a much larger area. In both rectangles only traces of other constructions were unearthed.

Both compounds seem to have been royal palaces, with a sanctuary built of non-perishable material at the entrance from the east. Remarkably the two santuaries of these two similar compounds are located on the same north-south axis, it runs parallel to another axis which without doubt is of highly symbolic significance, namely the north-south-line connecting the Bakong state temple and the Lolei shrine in the centre of Indravarman's vast reservoir called Indratataka. The more secular palace axis of Preah Ko and Prei Monti is only about a hundred metred further west.

Khmer palaces were built of perishable materials such as wood and bamboo, this is why nothing remains of them, but pieces of ceramics from the contemporary Chinese Tang dynastie were found in this area, typical luxury goods. Similar to Preah Ko, the temple sanctuary built of stone is located inside the palace enclosure, but close to its eastern edge.

Prei Monti is older than Preah Ko and the other two major monuments of the Roluos Group, Bakong and Lolei. Preah Ko was the palace and ancestor temple of Indravarman I who is the first king of the Angkor era, well-known from own epigraphical records and maybe the first ruler of more than a regional Khmer principality.

He succeded Jayavarman III, who was childless. Sometimes Prasat Prei Monti is ascribed to this king, Jayavarman III, of whom not much is known. Others believe Prei Monti to be the first palace of Indravarman. However, Prei Monti is one of the first monuments from the dawning Angkor era.

Prasat Prei Monti's three brick towers are open to the east and share a single platform. They are more stocky and less elegant than those of the later Preah Ko. But as in the case of Preah Ko, the Prasats are made of brickstone, with sandstone doors from the east and blind doors at the three other sides.

The central tower is almost completely collapsed, but its sandstone lintel can be studied on the ground slightly to the east. It is much less elaborate than the famous lintel carvings at Preah Ko, but it already marks a transition from a pre-Angkorian division of the panel by a line of medaillons to the more unified classical style of a bent garland.

All in all, there is not as much to see at Prasat Prei Monti as at the Preah Ko temple. But it is a silent place, where the rare visitor can explore the beginnings of Angkor architecture without disturbances.

The morning is a good time to visit Prei Monti. A ticket is not required at this remote small structure.

History of Roluos Group

The Roluos Group date to the 9th Century and were devoted to both Shiva and Vishnu (together "Hari-Hara"). Indravarman I moved his capital to Hariharalaya ("abode of Hari-Hara") from Jayavarman II's founding Angkorian capital on Phnom Kulen, and this remained the capital until it moved to Bakheng, in the current archaeological park, in 905.

Preah Ko was built in 879-880, and has 6 brick towers, while Bakong was completed in 881, and was probably the state temple of Indravarman, although this possibly built on an earlier temple mount. The Angkor Wat-style lotus spired central sanctuary was probably added in the 12th century, possibly by Yasovarman II.

Lolei, transitional in style betwwn preah Ko and Bakheng, was built in 893 by Yasovarman I, and although the towers are in poor repair, there are some exquisite carvings remaining.

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