Thursday, November 23, 2006

The Walled City of Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple


The family in the front of one of the four gates of Angkor Thom.

One of our outings was to the walled city and capital of Angkor of Angkor Thom. Here is a little information on Angkor Thom.

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). It was enclosed by a square wall 8 meters (26 feet) high and 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) in length, topped by a terrace to hold troops when defending the city, and surrounded by a moat 100 meters (328 feet) wide which was said to have been inhabited by savage crocodiles. 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.


Here are the guards of Angkor Thom holding a giant serpent. You can see one of them is missing a head. Jonny and Angus decided to replace the head.


Angus standing next to a giant banyan tree inside the walled city.


Here is Bayon Temple which is in the center of Angkor Thom. Bayon was my favorite temple in Siem Reap.



The temple is best known today for the gigantic face sculptures that adorn its thirty-seven surviving towers. Facing in four directions on each tower, the faces are thought to represent Lokeshvara, a Buddhist deity that projected benevolence outward to the four directions.


An intricate stone carving.


Gemma exploring the temple.


Angus and Jonny in Bayon.


A family photo outside of Bayon.

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