Kim's Life Gallery!!

I hope this space can become a platform for those who are interested in sharing ideas in travel and business. I always believe that nobody is perfect in this world, it is through sharing to make us a better one. *_*

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Breathtaking steps at the ruins - Part 2

Within walking distance from Angkor Wat is the former city of Angkor Thom, which rivaled Ancient Rome in size and population. Angkor Thom, the “Great Walled City” and capital of Angkor, was built by Angkor’s greatest king, Jayavarman VII and covered some 10 square kilometers (almost 4 square miles)!Unlike Angkor Wat, which was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, Angkor Thom is a Buddhist monument

At its peak, the city was said to contain maybe 50,000 residents. Its crowning glory, the enigmatic heads of the Bayon, took 21 years to build. To complete them, Jayavarman took thousands of peasant from the rice fields, thereby unintentionally signaling the beginning of the kingdom’s end. Rice yields decreased, and without resources to support it, the empire began a gradual decline.

The city is surrounded by a moat and a wall. It can be entered via five roads leading to five gateways: two in the eastern city wall, and one in the northern, western and southern city walls. Four huge gates, each high enough to accommodate an elephant and riders, faced in each direction. Huge carvings of four-faced heads and three-headed elephants mounted watch in all directions.

The most fascinating section though is The Bayon, a temple built in the 12th century. Where Angkor Wat knocks you off your feet with its sheer size, the Bayon is eerily different. Its many towers feature more than 200 huge faces of the God-King Jayavarman rendered as Boddhisatva – the Buddha -- staring down through lidded eyes brimming with beatific confidence. It’s difficult not to be intimidated!!

Let's have a look on some of my great shots on this 'City of a Thousand Faces'. *_*

South gate of Angkor Thom - the best preserved gate!!

Angkor Thom is surrounded by moat - a way to protect the city from enemies' attack.

Oops, is this a modern way of praying to Buddha??!!

A symbolic smiling face sculpture in Angkor Thom.

Apsara, the sculpture of Cambodian lady that can be seen almost everywhere on the temple walls. It represents water and purity and the fluidity of the virtuous female.

A stone craving that describes the war during the ancient time.

What an artistic shot!!

The greatest shot!! A kiss with bodhisattva!!


Anonymous Elainee said...

Excellent photos!!! Super blog! Thanks for sharing.

11:55 AM  

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