Baksei Chamkrong is a beautiful, well-balanced mountain style temple that provides insight into the Angkor’s early temple style. Consistent with the early-Angkor style, only the door-frames and lintels were made from sandstone.
The square brick sanctuary, with the typical four-tiered superstructure of Angkor’s early temples, stands atop a four-level laterite pyramid, reinforcing its symbolic association with the mountaintop residence of the gods, Mount Meru. A steep staircase rises on each side to the summit.
The sanctuary can only be accessed from the east side, the other three sides having blind doors. Its original stucco decoration has fallen off, but impressions of the original female guardians remain in the brick walls.
The primary entrance’s door-frame holds a Sanskrit inscription from 948 that lays out the succession of Khmer kings, from pre-Angkorean times to the then-current ruler (Rajendravarman II), and the royal line’s mythological origins. The inscription also tells of a golden image of Shiva inside the temple.
Barely a trace remains of the brick enclosure wall that originally surrounded the temple, pierced by a gopura on the east and west sides.