Prasat Suor Prat

Towers of the Cord Dancers

Jayavarman 7th
1181 - 1120
The symmetry of the 12 towers
These "temple" towers are twelve small towers that are a sight to be seen from the Elephant Terrace. The towers are all lined neatly in one row, each with a larger building behind it, the Khleangs.

Prasat Suor Prat means “Temple of the Rope Dancers." They say that in the old days there were ropes connecting all twelve towers and that people danced or did some sort of exhibition on these ropes.

Prasat Suor Prat - Towers lined up
Towers all lined up

This is probably not really accurate though, and some researchers don’t agree about the towers being used for entertainment. None of the ropes remain today, only the sandstone and laterite towers.

Prasat Suor Prat - Single towerA more credible theory regarding the use of these towers came from Zhou Da Guan, the Chinese emissary.

He reported that these towers were used to resolve disputes.

Whenever there was a conflict between two people, both persons were locked inside a tower for several days. Whoever came out without disease or sickness would be declared the winner or the righteous party.

The person who developed a fever, ulcer, or any kind of sickness would be considered the wicked person. They call this system “celestial judgment."

So in short...

Although these twelve temples are best seen from a distance, you can walk up close to the towers and get personal view. Plus, after visiting these small temples you can go right ahead and visit the Khleangs right behind them.

Where would you like to go next?

Go to the next Angkor Thom temple: The Khleangs.

Return to Angkor Thom temples for a list of other sites that you can easily visit. The Angkor Thom complex is much larger than the Angkor Wat complex. However, unlike Angkor Wat, it houses several 'smaller' temples instead of just one.

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