Kim's Life Gallery!!

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Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Breathtaking steps at the ruins - Part 1

On the first day, we have visited Angkor Wat - the most renowned temple in southwest Cambodia. It was built by the vanished Khmer empire. It was constructed during the reign of king Suryavarman II, who ruled from 1113 to at least 1145. The name Angkor Wat means "The city that is a temple."

The actual temple sits on a sandstone plinth a meter above the ground. Its perimeter is decorated with naga balustrades. The outer wall of the temple is called the "first enclosure," and sits on a plinth 3.3 meters high. A continuous gallery runs along the outside face of the wall. The inner face is decorated with 700 meters of continuous bas reliefs.

Just to the east of the west gate of the first enclosure is a series of four rooms arranged in a cruciform. Each room is surrounded by a continuous gallery and has a sunken floor where ponds used to be.

The inner enclosure rests on a two-tiered pyramid 11 meters tall. The stairs are extremely steep. The upper terrace has a continuous gallery that encloses an inner cruciform of four rooms. Five towers jut from the upper tier in a quincunx arrangement (like five dots on a pair of dice).

I was extremely amazed by the efforts behind to build this spectacular temple. The execution of such a structure would certainly have eaten up much of the Empire’s resources.Imagine the coordination of the massive workforce cutting huge blocks of stone from hillsides, dragging them into place, and then of course the logistics of assembling thousands of stone masons, persuading them to chip out identical carvings and then heaving them into place. What on earth were they thinking?

Nevertheless, it was still an incredible man-made miracle on earth!!

Magnificent view of the entire temple from the lake side!!

There are different meanings carried by the wrinkles on body of the sculpture. Wrinkles on the neck means the lady is married where as wrinkles on the stomach means the lady has given birth to baby.

A good shot with a great model!! :P

What a steep staircase before reaching the top of Angkor Wat!! I have made it!!

One of the most beautiful sunset that I have ever seen!!

A lot of kids were found around the area selling postcards, books and handicraft. They are active and multi-lingua!!


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