Lolei (stressed on "lei") in Roluos is located only a few hundred metres north of the A6 main road. It is the youngest and smallest of the three most important Roluos temples, less photogenic than the similar Preah Ko. But the historical background of the Lolei temple is remarkable in some respects. It was consecrated in 893, its builder was Yashovarman I (889-910), who shifted the capital from Hariharalaya, the present-day Roluos, to a new 16 square kilometres large fortified city called Yashodharapura. It encompassed the area of the later Angkor Wat and was the first metropolis and capital in the area we call Angkor. So Yashovarman, who erected the Lolei temple in commemoration of his father, Roluos-king Indravarman I, can be titled the founder or initial king of the most famous ancient Khmer capital, Angkor. The Bakheng in Angkor became his state temple. Yashovarman constructed the East Baray, the main source of Angkor's water supply and economical wealth during four centuries to come.
But Yashovarman also completed the 3.8 km long and 800 m wide Baray of his father's capital Roluos. This tank once called Indratataka, "sea of Indra", like the East Baray, is dry now. The Lolei was built on an artificial island slightly north to the centre of this reservoir, which therefore is also called the Baray of Lolei. As the Bakong in Rolous was a kind of model for Angkor's Khmer temple-pyramids, so the Lolei became the prototype for the Khmer's lake-temples, particularly the East- and West-Mebon in the East- and West-Barays of Angkor.
The embankments of the elongated rectangular Baray of Lolei run strictly east-west and north-south, slightly divergent from the natural inclination. Similarly the later Angkor Barays are extended in east-west-direction.
Lolei also was an Ashrama, altogether a hundred hermitages for different Indian religious sects were built by Yashovarman, particularly at the East Baray.
The Lolei's door jambs bear not less than 5 inscriptions in Khmer language, they are of exceptional calligraphic beauty and some historical importance.
The ancestor temple Lolei consists of four brick towers, dedicated not only to the parents, but also to the maternal grandparents of Yashovarman I. The south-west tower is half broken, the south-east Prasat collapsed in 1968. There is some speculation that two more Prasats were planned at the northern side, making the Lolei even more alike Preah Ko, which was built by Yashovarman's father and predecessor Indravarman. However, the northern towers were never erected.
The four Prasats were covered with stucco, some parts of excellent quality are still visible. Sandstone lintels and colonettes bear exquisite stone carvings. The false doors are monolithic. The eastern towers are protected by male guardian sculptures called Dvarapalas, they show characteristics of Shiva, too, whereas the western towers dedicated to female ancestors show female Devatas instead.
A small cruciform sandstone channel in between the four towers is an unusual feature at the Lolei temple. A square pedestal, supposedly for a Linga, is placed at the intersection of the two lineal furrows of this channel.
The best time to visit Lolei is the early morning. The Angkor ticket is valid in Roluos and will be checked by an inspector at Lolei's entrance stairway.