Monday, May 25, 2009

Siem Reap, Cambodia: Visiting Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is not one temple, but a complex of many temples at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city.

Unlike most Khmer temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west rather than the east. This has led many to conclude that Suryavarman intended it to serve as his funerary temple.

Afternoon reflections

The outer wall, 1024 by 802 m and 4.5 m high, is surrounded by a 30 m apron of open ground and a moat 190 m wide. Access to the temple is by an earth bank to the east and a sandstone causeway to the west; the latter, the main entrance, is a later addition, possibly replacing a wooden bridge.

A view from the top of the main temple

Bayon Temple

The Bayon Temple was the last state temple to be built at Angkor, and the only Angkorian state temple to be built primarily as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Buddha, though a great number of minor and local deities were also encompassed as representatives of the various districts and cities of the realm.

The Faces of Bayon Temple

The similarity of the 216 gigantic faces on the temple's towers to other statues of the king has led many scholars to the conclusion that the faces are representations of Jayavarman VII himself. Look for the smiling face at sunrise. It a truly amazing view that will make you smile for years after your visit.

All smiles...


Lunatic said...

Nice snaps...and there are 216 of thes ehuge faces?? The temple complex is really gigantic in size.

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Those pictures you had posted about Angkor Wat was really all good! I've never been to Angkor Wat, the only chance I get to imagine how Angkor Wat looks like is through pictures on the internet and games. Those pictures depict Angkor Wat's rich historial legacy huh.

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