Buddhism in Cambodia

Krol Ko

Krol Ko or "The oxen park" at Angkor is a Buddhist temple built 12th to early 13th century by Jayavarman VII and dedicated to Buddha. It is located northeast  of Neak Pean.

What To See

A single tower monument with two enclosing walls built of laterite with an entry tower at the east and a moat with steps. The main items of interest at Krol Ko are the pediments on the ground. Two outstanding ones are a bodhisattva Avalokitesvara standing on a lotus flanked by devotees and a h4ly modeled scene of Krishna lifting Mount Govardhana to shelter the shepherds.

From the east, one enters the second enclosure through a simple opening in the external laterite enclosure wall. The internal court is defined by a 25 by 35 metre wall - again in laterite - which is itself surrounded on three of its sides with a moat lined with steps.

Some frontons have been reconstructed on the ground on either side of a small cruciform terrace. Two of them on the right represent the Bodhisattva Lokesvara - to whom the temple seems to have been dedicated - standing amidst some figures in prayer. To the left, of Brahmanic inspiration, is Krishna raising the mount Govardhana to shelter the shepherds and their flocks - with another Lokesvara.

The upper section of the cruciform sandstone gopura has collapsed - it is preceded by a vestibule to the east and has two small wings on either side. Within the internal enclosure stands the sanctuary. It is reasonably sized and clearly in the style of the Bayon, with a general embroidery of decoration and false windows with blinds. A "library" precedes it to the south of the axis. Open to the west and constructed in laterite and sandstone, this has a false door on its eastern side. The rest of the ornamentation is generally basic and without much interest.