East Mebon

Located along the Big Circuit of the Angkor Archeological Park is East Mebon, a Hindu temple that dates back to the 10th century and was commissioned by Rajendravarman II. Designed in the pre-Rup style, East Mebon is unique because it was built on an artificial island built right in the middle of the East Baray Reservoir. Today, no water remains, but East Mebon still looks like it was built on a kind of pedestal separating it from its surroundings.

East Mebon entrance with towers and lions

East Mebon is similar to a temple mountain, and it boasts three distinct levels that are clearly defined even now that the structure is in ruin. Five towers crown the top of the temple, which was dedicated to the god Shiva to honor the king’s parents. East Mebon is sometimes thought to be a kind of peace offering to the Angkor region, because King Rajendravarman II moved the capital away from Angkor to Koh Ker in the years prior, although he eventually returned. The temple of East Mebon signifies the king’s rule over Angkor and his desire for the kingdom to have a continued presence in the region for centuries to come. Since it is slightly off the beaten track, East Mebon is one of the temples in Angkor that is typically free from large crowds.