East Prasat Top is a very small and rarely visited Hindu temple located in Angkor Thom. All you will see here is a small shrine which is mostly in ruins. However, the jungle has literally taken over and the whole area is overgrown with vegetation. This makes the perfect opportunity for some stunning photos.
The small Hindu temple is also historically significant as it’s the last accurately dated temple to have been built during the Khmer empire.
Today, few visitors stop by Prasat Top. It’s a good place to escape the crowds of visitors and see one of the last known temples to have been built by the Angkor kings.
28th April 1295 AD
10 - 30 minutes
East Prasat Top is located in the ancient city of Angkor Thom around 300m away from the Victory Gate. It’s completely surrounded by thick jungle and is sometimes called the “secret temple” as you can only see it if you go looking for it.
To reach East Prasat Top, you need to head away from the Royal Enclosure along Victory Way towards the Victory Gate. About 300m from the Victory Gate, you will see a small path with two small wooden posts. Follow the path for a few hundred metres and you will eventually come to the small shrine.
In the rainy season, the path is likely to be muddy but still passable. If you’re cycling, you can ride you bicycle. However, if you’re travelling by tuk tuk or taxi, then you will need to get off and walk.
Siem Reap: 13.4km
Banteay Samre: 6.8km
Ta Som: 8.6km
Ta Prohm: 3.1km
Most tours will bypass East Prasat Top completely. However, the majority of tours which include Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm will pass right by it. If you’re on a private tour of Angkor Wat or using your own transport, then you can easily stop by when leaving Angkor Thom by the Victory Gate.
If you’re on a shared or group tour, it’s unlikely that your guide or driver will stop to see the temple.
There is no accommodation in the immediate vicinity of Prasat Top (East) as it’s in the middle of the Angkor Park. Most guests will stay at a hotel or guest house in Siem Reap and travel into the park to visit the temples.
Siem Reap has grown into a large tourist hub and there are many hotels to choose from. Booking.com has a huge range of hotels to suit all tastes and budgets. As one of the largest online travel agents, they also have a number of special offers running throughout the year.
Why Visit East Prasat Top?
You should take the time to visit East Prasat Top because it is rarely visited by tourists and it’s completely surrounded by jungle which gives it an “off the beaten track” feel. It’s also a historically significant temple as it was the last known Hindu temple built during the Angkor era.
East Prasat Top is historically significant as it was the last known Hindu temple to have been built during this time period which can be dated with any precision. It was built in 1295 AD during the reign of King Jayavarman VIII. It was built in the Bayon style and dedicated to Mangalartha, a Hindu scholar. The temple is sometimes called Mangalartha after this person.
It’s also sometimes called “monument 487” which is the reference number given to it by the French.
By the time it was finished, it was the last known temple built during the Khmer Empire and marks the end of a prolific era for the Angkor period.
Layout and Design
The sandstone structure opens to the east. Like many other towers, there are false doors in each of the other three sides. Nowadays, the tower lays in ruins and there isn’t much to see. However, the encroaching jungle and overgrown vegetation makes East Prasat Top a wonderful place to visit.
There would have been two statues here, one of Mangalartha and one of his mother. However, only the pedestal for his mother remains today. There are pediments lying around which show a reclining Vishnu, a dancing Shiva, and Krishna.
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