Skip to main content

Angkor ruins excursion

These Cambodian boys keep the Bayon temple clean.

"If you only see two temples, Angkor Wat and Bayon should be the ones." That is the advice from this website and my friends and I did just that on the final day of our recent stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia. In addition, we visited the Ta Prohm temple.

Half a day is hardly enough to cover the numerous religious structures in the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is close to Siem Reap city.

Khmer domination over the Angkor Kingdom lasted about 600 years beginning from the 9th Century and during this period several hundred temples were built. Our guide told us that some 300 have been listed and restored.

I enjoyed the visit to the "palaces of gods" so much that I plan to visit Siem Reap again; this time to explore the ruins thoroughly.

Michael Freeman and Claude Jacques (Ancient Angkor, 2003) write: "To gain a proper understanding of what a Khmer temple was, it should first be recalled that it was not a meeting place of the faithful but the palace of a god, who was enshrined there to allow him to bestow his beneficence, in particular on the founder and his familiars.

"There was thus the need to build the finest possible residence for him, to be sure, although as he was there in the form of a statue there was little need for a large space.

"One of the largest is the central shrine of Angkor Wat and its cella has internal dimensions of 4.6 metres by 4.7; the pedestal of the statue being approximately the width of the door, would have been 1.6 metres square. So a great temple would not be a vast palace for a single god but a grouping of multiple shrines with a main divinity at the centre." 

Below are some pictures of my brief tour of the religious monuments at the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is a World Heritage Site.


Love this corridor of one of the structures of Angkor Wat. It was exciting to walk the corridors of this famous symbol of Cambodian nation. Some two million visitors are likely to visit this legendary ruins by the end of this year.




You will encounter bas-reliefs such as the type seen in the second picture on the exterior walls of the lower level of the Bayon while the stone faces -- the third picture serves as an example -- sit on the upper level.



Visitors will appreciate this quaint relic of the past, also found at the Bayon. The two photos below were taken at the Ta Prohm, where "massive fig and silk-cotton trees grow from the towers and corridors".



Comments

Popular Posts

Giving New Year resolutions another chance

In the spirit of New Year resolutions doing the rounds, I have a story to share. My friend Rabiaa Dani gave up making resolutions a long time ago. She found it hard to keep her promises made at the start of each year. The issue had given her a lot of grief over the years. Frustration ensued when her New Year resolutions went out of the window, often culminating with her beating herself up. The first few days were good but she would falter after the first week. She felt bad about her lack of willpower and would feel depressed and unworthy of respect or value. So she decided that she would no longer make them. However, unknown to her, she would review this decision at the end of 2017. What happened? Rabiaa and her husband attended a talk by Ustaz Dato' Badli Shah bin Alauddin at Komplex Darul Baraqah in Manjoi, Ipoh, Perak on December 28, 2017. The Ustaz from Pahang is one Rabiaa's favourite preachers and she hardly misses his religious talks on television. This was the first

Are you ready for Sri Lanka?

SRI LANKA wants YOU! Yes, YOU ... the traveller. And the longer you stay on the island, the better it would be for the country's fledgling tourism industry. The end of the 30-year-old civil war in the country in May 2009 resulted in more tourist arrivals to Serendib (the origin of the word "serendipity"), as the Arabs called it in the ancient past.When the Portuguese arrived in 1505, they named it Ceilao , which was transliterated into English as Ceylon. Tourism officials predict high numbers of visitors from abroad, notably India and China, in the future. Tourist arrivals reportedly "grew by an impressive 50 per cent or an increase to 160,000 from 106,000 visitors in the first quarter of 2010, compared to 2009". The downside of rising/increased tourism has generated debate as this website indicates. The concerns are valid. The rights of locals and proper care of the environment must be high on the list of priorities when tourism officials plan for t

Jehan bagged it!

Journalist Jehan Mohd is 30 today. I thought she would like a mer? original handbag so I invited Ice to design one that would suit her charming and vivacious personality. Ice did not disappoint and I am very happy with her creation. I think Jehan likes the stylish tote ( see picture ) too. Happy Birthday Jehan and enjoy the bag!