The three prasats at Kutisvara are in a complete state of ruin. For most visitors, there isn’t much to see. But for true Angkor aficionados, Kutisvara is a must-see temple.
Located just a kilometre or so from Ta Prohm and nearby Srah Srang, most people will completely overlook Kutisvara. Most drivers won’t know where it is, nor will they know the significance of this place.
Early 9th century to mid 10th century
Preah Ko / Pre Rup
15 - 60 minutes
To get to Kutisvara, you can head towards Banteay Kdei temple. From here, you’ll need to get out of the tuk tuk and start walking. Head along a small path next to some rice paddies, past a few local houses, and you’ll see Kutisvara in the clearing.
During the rainy season, the way is impassable for motos and bicycles, so you’ll have to get off and walk. You might want to bring some waterproof shoes for this time of year, because it’s likely that you’ll get wet!
Siem Reap: 13.6km
Angkor Thom: 6.5km
Angkor Wat: 9.5km
Ta Som: 6.4km
Most tours won’t bring you to Kutisvara. In fact, many guides and drivers might not know exactly where it is. You might need to ask a some locals for directions, but it’s worth your time as very few tourist will visit this “secret temple”. If you’re following the Angkor Wat Small Circuit Tour, you can stop along the way when you’re finished at Ta Prohm.
Accommodation isn’t available in the Angkor Park, but there are many hotels to choose from in Siem Reap town. Most guests who want to visit Kutisvara will stay in Siem Reap town and make the short journey into the Angkor Park to visit the temple.
Why Visit Kutisvara?
Kutisvara is the “secret” temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park and one that 99% of visitors totally ignore. In fact, many locals won’t know this place or its significance. If you’re looking for a truly remote spot in the Angkor Park where you can relax and explore in total peace, then this is the place for you.
So what is it which makes Kutisvara so interesting? Well, it’s the site of Kuti which was mentioned in Sdok Kok Thom which describes a connection with Jayavarman II in the 9th century. Jayavarman II was the founder of the Khmer Empire. He reigned from 790 AD until 835 AD. The empire started in 802 AD at Mahendraparvata which is today called Phnom Kulen.
This means that Kutisvara was one of the first temples built during the Angkor period at some point in the early 9th century.
Inscriptions found at Banteay Kdei also talk about the temple being dedicated to Shiva and large statues of Vishnu and Brahma which were constructed in the 10th century.
Other than this, not much is known about this early temple.
Layout and Design
There are three collapsed towers built on a north-south row. All the temple entrances are facing to the east. The middle tower was built from brick and the two outer towers were built from laterite.
All three towers are in very poor condition and are mostly buried.
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