Krol Ko is a small Buddhist temple dating back from the 12th century. It was originally built as a Buddhist temple by King Jayavarman VII in the style of Bayon.
The temple is just north of the entrance to Neak Pean and largely overlooked by most tourists. For this reason, it’s a great place to come and visit because you can escape the crowds and explore this small but interesting temple on your own.
Late 12th century
15 - 45 minutes
Krol Ko temple is located along the grand circuit. You can reach the temple by heading north from Angkor Thom past Krol Romeas. Turn right at Preah Khan temple and head towards Neak Pean and Ta Som. You will see the temple of the left side as you reach the entrance to Neak Pean.
Alternatively, you can head east from Angkor Wat towards Srah Srang and East Mebon. Keep going north after East Mebon and past the Siem Reap River. After you reach Ta Som, turn left towards Neak Pean and you’ll see Krol Ko temple on the right side.
Siem Reap - 20.1km
Ta Som - 2.1km
Banteay Prei - 2.3km
East Mebon - 4.6km
Neak Pean - 500m
It’s unlikely that most tours will include Krol Ko on the itinerary as it’s not often visited by tourists. However, it is on the route for the Angkor Wat Grand Circuit. If you’re on a private tour or you’re getting yourself around, then it’s easy to stop along the way. You can visit the temple before or after stopping to see Neak Pean.
Hotels are not allowed inside the Angkor Park. Nearly all visitors will stay in Siem Reap town and make the short journey to visit the temple. In Siem Reap, you will find many types of accommodation to suit all preferences and budgets.
Why Visit Krol Ko?
If you’re looking for a quiet spot to get some photos, do some meditation, or just escape from the crowds and relax, then Krol Ko is a good choice. You can get some great photos without other visitors getting in the way. The trees in the area also offer some cool shade for you to relax and take a break.
Little is known about Krol Ko temple. It’s known that it was built by King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century or early 13th century. Like other temples built by Jayavarman VII, it was a Buddhist temple built in the Bayon style.
It’s thought that Krol Ko was abandoned alongside the other temples in the region at some point in the 16th century.
In the 19th century, Krol Ko was rediscovered by French explorers.
Layout and Design
Krol Ko consists of a single tower with two laterite walls surrounding it. There was an entry tower on the east side and a moat. To the west, there is a library built from sandstone and laterite. The central tower or sanctuary is in the middle of a cross shaped terrace.
Some carvings are still visible. The two notable ones include Avalokitesvara standing on a lotus surrounded by devotees. Moreover, there is a scene depicting Krishna sheltering shepherds by lifting Mount Govardhana. It might be this inscription where the modern name Krol Ko (Shed of the Oxen) comes from.
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