Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Bayon, Seam Reap -Cambodia

The Bayon, shaped like a pyramid, is located in the heart of Angkor Thom, the Bayon is one of the city’s most estraordinary structures , epitomizing the ‘lost civilization’ of Angkor.

It is entered through eight cruciform  towers, linked by gallery being restored.  These galleries have some of the most striking bas-reliefs found at Angkor, showcasing everyday scenes as well as images of battles, especially those against the Cham.

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Khmer Army in Procession The bas-reliefs in the eastern gallery provide scenes from the struggle between the Khmers and the Cham, which has been recorded in painstakingly fine detail.  Here the Khmer king, seated on an elephant, leads his army into battle.

Part of the South Gate, tour along this temple takes around 40 minutes.

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This symbolic temple-mountain rises on three levels, and features 54 towers bearing more than 200 huge, yet enigmatic stone faces.

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Apsaras depicted on the pillars of the temple

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The Bayon, the State Temple of Jayavarman VII and his immediate successors, is one the most enigmatic and powerful religious constructions in the world.

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The temple is extremely complex both in terms of its structure and meaning, having passed through different religious  phases from Pantheon of the Gods, Hindu, worship and Buddhism

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The temple itself is composed of two galleried enclosures, which are almost square, but also on three levels.  The approach is a broad two-tired terrace, 72m long and guarded by lions, leading to the eastern gopura of the outer enclosure, which measures 156m x 141m. 

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Dancing apsaras on a column of the outer gallery

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It uses a mass of face-towers to create a stone mountain of ascending peaks.

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At the top level (3d level) local people wearing traditional khmer clothes.
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In the centre of the upper terrace rises the central massif, which is 25m in a diameter, it reaches a height of 43m above ground-level, and it is connected to a series of small chambers to the east.

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Dominating the whole arrangement of galleries and terraces are the face-towers, some over the gopuras, others over the corner angles, yes others free-standing on the upper terrace. It is said that the number of faces are in dispute.  Equally, the actual numbers of towers do not have any symbolic significance as may were added later.

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Their different individual heights combined with the different levels of the temple create the impression of a forest of towers rising towards the centre.


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The Western Gallery A statue of the Hindu god Vishnu, thought to date from the time of the founding of the temple, is installed in the southern section of the western gallery, one fo the many galleries surrounding the Bayon.  Devotees burn incense before this statue.

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Leaving the Bayon via the the West Gate.

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  1. Hello John,
    How was your trip to Cambodia? Did you celebrate new year there as well?
    Anyway, I am so glad to see you took a lot of beautiful photos.


    1. Hey Joanne,
      I spent Songkran here in Bangkok lol. Last Sunday, I went to Ancient Siam to see the performance of Thai Traditional dance!!! I took some photos, I will post them soon.