View of Phnom Krom at dawn
|Elevation||140 m (460 ft)|
|Location||Siem Reap Province, Cambodia|
|Easiest route||Drive, then hike|
|Phnom Krom temple|
view of Phnom Krom temple
|Locale||On Phnom Krom hill, about 10km southwest of Siem Reap|
|Sanctum||Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma|
|Architecture||Khmer (Bakheng style)|
|Number of temples||3 towers|
|Date built||Late 9th to early 10th century AD|
Phnom Krom (Khmer: ភ្នំក្រោម) is a 140 m high hill close to Siem Reap city, Cambodia. There is a temple on the top which derived its name from the hill, "Prasat Phnom Krom" (Khmer: ប្រាសាទភ្នំក្រោម). Prasat means "temple".
Phnom Krom is about 12 kilometers southwest of Siem Reap town.
Phnom Krom hill is very rocky; local legend has it that the rocks were exposed by the monkey general Hanuman during a hunt for medicine in the Ramayana epic. The area beyond the temple’s west gate affords a spectacular view of the Tonle Sap lake.
Phnom Krom temple
Oriented toward the east, the hilltop temple is enclosed by a wall built of laterite blocks. Along the walls' top runs a cornice. Gates bisect the walls at each of the four cardinal directions. Just inside the east gate are four small buildings arrayed in a north-south row, possibly formerly used as crematoria. Inside the walls on the north and south sides are three halls, now collapsed.
The temple’s focus is three towers, also in a row running north to south. They sit atop a platform reached by staircases of seven steps. The south tower is dedicated to Brahma, the central to Shiva, and the north to Vishnu. Its layout is identical to Phnom Bok which must have been built at the same time.
They were built of sandstone; much of their carving and detail has been lost to erosion including the lintels, in very poor condition, that feature garlands and inward-facing makaras. Octagonal colonettes decorate the doorways.
Phnom Krom railway
Phnom Krom was at the southern end of the Phnom Krom railway, a narrow-gauge French colonial railway that was most likely constructed to take stone from the now-defunct quarries on Phnom Krom to Siem Reap.
- Media related to Phnom Krom at Wikimedia Commons
- Nick Ray, Cambodia