Aug 6, 2011

Temples of Angkor

Angkor Wat

 Anyone heading to Cambodia has pretty much one thing in mind, to visit the Angkor Wat. But Angkor area of siem Reap has so many more temples to offer. Angkor Wat, a Unesco heritage site and the world's largest religious monument. Built by the Hindu king Suryavarman, this temple faces the west indicating it is a graveyard temple. The sunrise is best enjoyed at Angkor Wat as the sun rises from behind the monument and the temple build of sandstone shines brilliant golden shades before the scene lights up.




Check out:
* Sunrise at Angkor Wat, preferably on a clear day
* The reflection of the temple in the ponds in front of Angkor Wat
* Ramayan story on the walls of Angkor Wat
* Climb up the super steep steps to get to the top story of the temple.



Bayon Temple

One of the best Buddhist temples of its period, it was also the center of the Angkor Thom city.  There were 49 towers originally and each of these gopuras (towers) has 4 faces of Buddha on the 4 sides. Essentially, when you are inside the Bayon temple complex, you are completely surrounded by smiling Buddha faces and it is overwhelming, needless to say. One of my favorite sites in Angkor.

Check out:
* The smiling buddha faces, some are supposed to smile more than the others. See if you can spot them.
* Cambodian war against the neighboring Vietnamese army is carved on the temple walls. Beautiful carvings in a mixture of hindu and buddhist styles.



Ta Prohm 



The tomb rider was shot here. Another favorite of mine, just because of the strangler fig tree roots. I love the way this tree starts growing in the cracks of the walls, spreads its roots all the way down till it reaches the ground and then spreads to the wall and eventually destroy the building.
Other than the show purpose, these trees apparently serve no purpose. They cannot even be used as firewood, the local guide told us.

Check out:
* The strangler fig trees and their roots
* buy paintings of Angkor and Cambodian art from the artists who paint just outside. They give you amazingly low rates.



2 comments:

  1. Well described and nice clicks..

    www.rajniranjandas.blogspot.com

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  2. beautiful pics!!! loved esp the last two!

    ReplyDelete