Bakong is the first state temple of Indravarman I (877-c.886) at his capital of Hariharalaya. This enormous five-level pyramid is the first Khmer temple built entirely out of sandstone. The laterite central core is extended by an earth mound. It underwent extensive anastylosis (a process which entails the dismantling of the remains, numbering the stones, and rebuilding it by replacing missing stones with new substitutes) between 1936 and 1943 under the direction of Maurice Glaize, the conservator of Angkor from 1936-1945. The pyramid is Saivite as indicated by the Nandin (kneeling bull) figures guarding the cardinal points. Monolithic elephants, rather damaged, guard the corners of the lower three levels. Eight sanctuary towers used to surround the pyramid within the inner enclosure, and presumably housed eight images of Siva. Only five are still standing, and they are made of brick and sandstone. Their ornamental lintel and doorway sculptural decorations are characteristic of the Preah Ko style. The pyramid-temple comes close to realizing the conception of Mount Meru, with its five levels symbolizing the five realms of living beings, and the surrounding walled and moated precincts representing the mythological continents and oceans that surround the cosmic mountain. Unlike other parts of the whole temple construction, the central tower of Bakong appearently belongs to the Angkor Wat style of the early 12th century, showing that this central tower was reconstructed about two centuries later.