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|Date:||Early 10th century CE (921)|
|Style:||Bakheng to Koh Ker|
|King:||Harshavarman I (reign 915 – 924 CE)|
Prasat Kravan (Khmer: ប្រាសាទក្រវ៉ាន់, meaning 'Cardamom Sanctuary') may, at first, seem rather unimpressive as you approach from the west (back) entrance, but the splendid bas-reliefs, portraying Vishnu and Lakshmi, are a rare example of bas-reliefs carved on brick walls. The image of the eight-armed Vishnu is also very rare (it is the only one in Angkor).
Unusually, Prasat Kravan has five sanctuaries. This, together with the presence of a Vishnu Trailokyanatha, protector of the Three Worlds, with eight arms (an exception to the four-arm traditional representation), may have to do with the sponsors’ affiliation to a specific Vaishnava sect.
Also very unusual is that the inscriptions omit to mention the king ruling the country at the time the temple was built. This is perhaps a sign of the troubled period the Angkor kingdom was going through at the time – two kings (Harshavarman I and Jayavarman IV) were fighting for the throne and in 928 (perhaps as early as 921) the capital of the kingdom was transferred to Koh Ker. Interestingly, the linga of Thom Temple at Koh Ker was consecrated on the exact same day as Prassat Kravan, on the 12th of December 921 CE.
Please also see My Work at Kravan Temple, and the in-depth articles about Kravan Temple in My Journal.