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  Prae Roop

 

Cambodia

Prasat Prae Roop, often spelled Pre Rup, is the present-day name of a Hindu temple at Angkor dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and which means ‘to turn the body’. It is assumed that the temple was used as a structure on which the corpses of royalty and high ranking monks were cremated.

 

It was built with a combination of brick, laterite (fig.) and sandstone, and made to resemble a towering mount, akin to Mt. Meru, i.e. the abode of the Hindu gods, and a term also used for a ‘crematorium [for high dignitaries]’.

 

  Prae Roop

 

  Prae Roop

 

The name may hence refer to either the ritual rotation of the body in a circular, anti-clockwise procession during funerals and called prasavya, or to the fact that deceased transforms into a heavenly body or form, as another possible translation would be ‘to transform the body’.

 

The temple is usually referred to as Prasat Prae Roop, with the term prasat standing for the palace for a king or god and in which the tower, in both religious and secular perspective, represents mount Meru, the abode of the gods in the clouds.

 

  Prae Roop

 

  Prae Roop

 

It was built in either 961 AD or early 962 AD as the state temple of King Rajendravarman II and is the oldest temple of the Angkorian Period.

See also THAILAND'S NEIGHBOURS & BEYOND, as well as TRAVEL PICTURES (1) and (2).

13°26'05.8"N 103°55'13.9"E