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Lolei Temple
Lolei Temple
Date:                                   Built in late ninth century
Religion:                             Hinduism
King:                                   Yasovarman I (889-910)
Posthumous name:             Paramasivaloka
 
Lolei is a Hindu temple constructed in 893 AD by king Yasovarman I who crowned from 889-910AD. He dedicated this temple to his ancestors, in the concept of Hindu belief

Lake:
Actually Lolei is an island temple constructed in the middle of a manmade lake Indratataka which is 3800m by 800m and the people in Angkor time used to come to pray in this temple by boat. Lake Indratataka was built by king Indravarman I who was king Yasovarman I’s father. Today this Lake is waterless, and it becomes a vast rice field in the wet season. A school and villages have also been constructed in this lake.
 
Foundation:
The foundation of Lolei temple is 90m by 80m and it was designed with two tiers with laterite stone. There’s also a boat platform on each side of this foundation.
 
Towers:
Lolei temple was designed with four brick towers. According to the inscription on the door frame of those towers, two towers in the front were dedicated to the king’s father and maternal grandfather and the two towers at the back row were dedicated to king’s mother and maternal grandmother. The two towers in the front are bigger than two towers at the back row.  However, two towers on the right are in better condition than two towers on the left.
 
Each tower has a real door to the east and three other doors are blind doors for decoration.
 Blind door of Lolei temple was made of a single piece of sandstone and it also can help to support the temple structure.
 
We found that bricks of this temple are stronger and better produced than bricks we use today. Instead of cement, they used the sticky leaf paste to bind the brick altogether.
Drainage:
In the center of the four brick towers, there’re four stone drainages. They face to all cardinal directions. Originally, the Brahmins used these drainages to flow holy water for pilgrims to clean sin.
 
Inscription:
The inscriptions on the door piers of this temple are in good condition. these inscriptions tell us about the ceremonies in the temple, about king Yasovarman I’s religious temple foundation project and about the king’s ancestors who each tower was dedicated to.There’re more than 1000 pieces of stone inscription which have been found in the Khmer temple. The Scholars consider Lolei temple’s inscriptions as the most beautiful hand script.

Carvings:
Lolei temple still comprises beautiful carvings in its lintels and blind doors. There’re figures of god and goddesses carrying a lotus bud on the wall. They’re in pretty good condition.

The Buddhist monastery:
There are Buddhist monasterieswhich are more than 100 years old inside this temple compound. Today there’re about 50 monks living here. The head monk of these monasteries is well known for fortune telling, reading astrology and making good prosperous fortune. He is quite busy during the full moon and new moon time which are holy days of both Buddhism and Hinduism.

These monasteries were built on stilts. The Khmer people have their own cultural belief that’ living man live above the dead man and all lives. An addition, the number steps in the staircase must be odd as odd number is sacred that the evil spirits cannot climb into the house’...
 
During the Khmer Rouge Regime from 1970-1975, these monasteries were used cow dung storehouses for fertilizer. All monks were defrocked and forced to overwork in the rice fields. The people were not allowed to practice any religions and they said that ‘The religion exploits the people, because the monk did not work besides eating and sleeping like pig’.
 
To visit this Lolei, the toursits should also walk around the temple to visit villages, typical Cambodian landscape of rice field with palm trees and houses built on still near by the Lolei temple.
 

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