NEANG KHMAO TEMPLE, TAKEO PROVINCE, CAMBODIA
Not one of Cambodia’s most well known tourist destinations but this small brick temple is well worth a peak if you’re passing and is conveniently located in the grounds of the modern Wat Neang Khmau right on highway #2. (Approx 50kms south of the capital and 30 kms from Takeo city.) That’s the main highway between Phnom Penh and Kep as it passes though Takeo Province and the track behind the temple leads directly to Phnom Chisor so it’s easily combined with that larger temple.The old and the new temples
Prasart Neang Khmau – the ‘Temple of the Black Maiden’ – consists of 2 brick towers in relatively good condition, (there would presumably have originally been a 3rd which has since disappeared), and was constructed during the early part of the 10th century by king Jayarvarman IV. (Demonstrating that even though he broke the mold by establishing his capital at the remote site of Koh Ker, J IV’s influence still stretched as far south as modern Takeo province.)Central and east towers remain
Whilst they are fairly standard brick towers the central tower does have an astonishingly well preserved sandstone lintel. The naga, demon Rahu, unidentified god, worshippers and surrounding floral and leaf motives look like they could have been carved yesterday!Main entrance door lintel of central tower
The central tower also is said to contain paintings on the inside wall – a highly unusual Angkor period practice though since it’s unfortunately been locked every time we’ve visited we can’t confirm this.What would have been the central of 3 towers
We visited Prasart Neang Khmau on our ‘Beyond Angkor‘ tour en-route between Kep and Phnom Penh. Cheers!