Saturday, January 25, 2014

Angkor Wat Archaeological Park

Angkor Wat, quiet at the end of the day 
On our last day in Siem Reap we decided to get a Tuk-Tuk driver to drive out to the Angkor Archaeological Park for a couple of hours just to take some pictures. We’ve been there a few times before so we were pretty particular where we wanted to go. The Angkor Wat temple itself and Bayon in Angkor Thom, which has beautiful facial sculptures of a king. 
Angkor Wat was first built as a Hindu temple. It then became a Buddhist temple complex and the is the largest religious monument in the world. The temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the tradition of earlier kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated to Vishnu instead of Shiva. As the best-preserved temple at the site, the temple was built in the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia and appears on it’s national flag. It is the country's biggest attraction for visitors.
Earlier in the day with the crowds
Angkor Wat Archaeological Park lies 5.5 km  (3.4 mi) north of the modern town of Siem Reap. It is in an area of Cambodia where there are important groups of ancient structures. It is the southernmost of Angkor's main sites. The modern name, Angkor Wat, means Temple City or City of Temples in Khmer.
The Bayon is a well known and richly decorated Khmer temple in the Angkor Archaeological Park. It was built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Buddhist King Jayavarman VII. The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak.
Jayavarman VII, Devaraja (god-king)
Bayon was the last state temple to be built at Angkor, and the only Angkorian state temple to be built primarily as a Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Buddha. Many scholars think that the faces are representations of King Jayavarman VII himself. During the reign of King Jayavarman VIII in the mid-13th century, the Khmer Empire reverted to the Hindu religion and the temple was altered accordingly. In later centuries, Buddhism became the dominant religion again, leading to still further changes, before the temple was eventually abandoned to the jungle. Cambodia follows Theravada Buddhisim today. 
This area is an absolute must if you are visiting Cambodia and Siem Reap. The Angkor Archaeological Park is absolutely unforgettable.

Highly recommended! 

If you’d like to check out more pages of the blog . . . Click here

No comments:

Post a Comment