Location: approx. 12km east of Siem Reap
Construction period: Late 9th century C.E.
Built by: King Jayavarman II, King Indravarman, King Yasovarman I
Photography: Morning light is best for temples facing east
The Roluos Group of Temples located at the east of Siem Reap along National Highway No. 6, is the 9th century group of temples named for the nearby town of Roluos. This group of ancient structures are what remains of Hariharalaya, the first important capital of the Khmer Empire It was the Khmer capital for more than 70 years under four kings.
The Roluos Group of temples includes the temples of Prah Ko, Bakong, Lolei, plus a baray. These structures are interesting and historic. This is especially true of Bakong Temple, a five tiered pyramid shaped structure, which is in the best shape of the three temples. There are stone stairways balustraded with stone lions, leading up to the main sanctuary at the top. It also contains eight small sanctuaries around the base of the temple, which is architecturally similar to other Angkorian temples.
Yasovarman I, the last king to reside at Hariharalaya, moved the capital to Angkor, and built Phnom Bakheng in 905 C.E. Except for a 20 year period at Koh Ker, the capital would remain at Angkor for the next 400 years.