The following video deals with the first capital city of the Angkorian empire. Historians usually date the great era of Khmer building from the time when this city was established as the capital. More specifically, our mini-documentary deals with the three main temples of the city of Hariharalaya.
These ruins are representative of 9th Century Khmer architecture and building techniques. They have generally been seen as the start of a great Angkorian building program that would last centuries. We decided to start here first because so many people know about Angkor Wat, but few know about all the other ruins that exist in this region. The three temples we explore in the video (Bakong, Lolei & Preah Ko) being the most prominent of well over a dozen such ruins scattered throughout the immediate area. Overall, there are hundreds of examples in a 30 kilometer radius around Siem Reap town.
We filmed at these three temples in the course of one afternoon, during the low tourist season. The heat that day was oppressive, which only helped keep most sane folks away. As a result, we pretty much had the run of the place. However, walking and filming around these World Heritage Sites in such grueling heat is not for the faint of heart. Breaks were common and staying very hydrated a must.
These temples are known as the Rolous Group of ruins (named after the nearby town and river). They are located about 13 kilometers east – southeast of Siem Reap. The ride to the site is quite scenic with paddies, water buffaloes and cows dotting the landscape. If ever vacationing in Cambodia, strongly suggest this site in addition to all the great Angkorian ruins, such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom & Ta Prohm.