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Things Nobody Tells You about Ta Keo Temple

Cambodia is one of the most popular choices amongst the tourists these days. The temple complex of Angkor Wat is surely the first reason for its fame but never the only one. Besides the main temple complex, temples like Banteay Kdei, Ta Keo offers serene surroundings and crowd-free exploration opportunities. If you are a photography freak, the temple of Ta Keo will offer your frames that would enrich your collection of memories in Cambodia.

Ta Keo Temple
Ta Keo Temple, Angkor Wat

Quick facts:

•  Time of creation: 11th century
•  Creator: Jayavarman V
•  Special feature: the circular galleries have no doors.
•  Dedicated to: Lord Shiva
•  Religion: Hinduism

Here are some amazing facts about Ta Keo that no one will tell you in general.

It’s an Unfinished Temple.

One of the most amazing of all the Angkor temples is the Ta Keo temple that was never finished by its creators. Though the construction started during the early periods when the Angkor temples were getting erected, it remained unfinished, whereas the other temples got completed within time.

Though the structure is complete, the wall decorations are not completely done. The time when the sculptors took up the task of a temple wall decoration with stone carvings, the work got halted. A traveler will find enough elements and structures to wonder about in Ta Keo but the missing wall decorations are not the evidence of ruins of time, rather they never got depicted.

Circular Galleries

Most of the temples inside the Angkor temple complex feature the circular galleries which surround a central platform. The galleries often served as the place from where the spectators can watch the events going on at the central platform.

The most amazing fact about Ta Keo is that it features the most-ancient circular gallery within its premises. The first gallery was erected in Ta Keo, and it still oozes wonder amongst the visitors with its architectural accuracy and excellence.

The 80 meter (262.5 feet) long and 75 meter (246.1 feet) wide galleries surround the second tier of pyramids. Later, the same fashion of structure was followed for building the rest of the galleries in Angkor.

•  Surprising information: Pre Rup in Angkor Wat has a similar gallery

The Five Prasat Upper Platform

It is one of the distinguishing features of the Ta Keo temple construction. The uppermost three tiers of this pyramid-structure are 14 meter (45.9 feet) in height and can be reached following the steep staircase present at four directions. Hence, from whichever direction you may clamber, you will land at the grad platform accommodating the five Prasats.

Ta Keo Temple
Steep Staircase are available to Four Directions

There are four prasats at four corners of the platform, and the fifth stands in the middle. The central Prasat is the largest of all. Southeast to Ta Keo, you can find another Prasat which remained unfinished as well. These prasats are in a Khleang architectural style.


Most of the Angkor complex temples were dedicated to Hindu Gods and Goddesses initially. Though some of the temples are now dedicated to Lord Buddha, some of the temples have remained as Hindu temples, and the idol of the Gods can be found as well. Such is the temple of Ta Keo. Once erected as a Hindu temple, Ta Keo has managed to maintain its originality and the changes have not touched its spiritual depths.  

Time of Construction

This temple got constructed during the early periods of Angkor Temple complex creation. Hence, it is one of the most ancient structures within the Angkor Wat complex that speaks of its lost glory through its ruins. According to historians, king Jayavarman V constructed this temple around 1000 AD. Being a patron of Lord Shiva, he dedicated this temple to his almighty. However, the final works of the temple got halted after the erection of the structure.

Duration of visit: At least an hour would be needed to adventure in the entire temple.

Best time to visit: you can visit the temple anytime in the year. However, paying a visit during the late monsoons can be particularly beneficial for photographers with the clouds crafting the backdrop of this ancient temple.

How to reach Ta Keo?

Siem Reap is the nearest place to reach Ta Keo temple and thus is a prominent place in Cambodia.

After reaching Siem Reap, contact the hotel’s manager for a reliable tuk-tuk driver who can offer you a ride up to the temples at reasonable rates. Usually a small tour by tuk-tuk to the temple Ta Keo would charge you about $10-15. You can also bargain the rates with the local tuk-tuk drivers.

Another option is to take a taxi to reach the Ta Keo temple. If you will hire for a day, the taxi would charge around $20 for 1 to 4 people and you will be able to reach the place in approximately 30-40 minutes.

Cambodia tops the list with its variety of offerings for the visitors. This tropical country has a rich heritage, an exciting history, and exceptional places to explore and get ensouled with. If you have Cambodia on your list of places to visit for the next holidays, make sure that you include Ta Keo in its sightseeing itinerary.

Nearby Attractions:

Ta Prohm Temple    Terrace of the Leper King    Bayon Temple    Thommanon Temple