Koh Ker , Kuleaen


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 very 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. Under the reign of the kings Jayavarman IV and Harshavarman II Koh Ker was briefly the capital of the whole empire .

Koh Ker is situated between the southern slopes of the Dangrek mountains, the Kulen mountains (Phnom Kulen) in the south-west and the Tbeng mountain (Phnom Tbeng, near Tbeng Meanchey) in the east. Most parts of the hilly ground are covered by jungle, but most of the trees shed their leaves seasonally .

In the second part of the 19th century, as French researchers and adventurers ranged the forests around the site of Koh Ker the game population was impressive. The city of Koh Ker was passed by the most important strategic route of the Khmer empire .

At the beginning of the 21st century scientists concluded that not all of the monuments could have been built in the short time when Koh Ker was capital of the Khmer empire (928 – 944 AD). A new era started at Koh Ker as photographs made by satellites were analysed. In 2004 the protected area was extended to 81 square kilometres (31 sq mi; 20,016 acres) .

None of the immense, expressive and beautiful sculptures are left at the site. Numerous of them were stolen and are standing now in museums and also in private collections. Some statues were put away by government organizations to protect them from looters. Many masterpieces of Koh Ker are now in the collection of the National Museum in Phnom Penh .


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