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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat Cambodia

The city which is a temple

  • Date: The first half of the 12th century

  • Reign of construction: Suryavarman II (1113-1150)

  • Cult: Hinduism, Visnuit temple

  • Clearance work: G. Commaille (1908-1911)

Angkor Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor complex and the best preserved, is an architectural masterpiece. It is perfection in composition, balance, proportions, relief and sculptures make it one of the finest monuments in the world.

"Wat" meaning "Monastery" which was called it when it became a Buddhist Hinayanism in the 16th century.

It is generally accepted that Angkor Wat was a funerary temple for the king Suryavarman II symbolism between sunset and death. To see the bas-reliefs starting from left to right according to Hindu funeral ritual, to prove this function.

It is surrounding by a moat: 190m wide, 1500m from West to East; 1300m from North to South; their sandstone embankments decorated with step and curps are more than 10km long and 3m deep. This frame work is broken, in the West and East by a bridge; the West entrance one is of stone, the east one is of earth seems to have been designed temporarily during the digging of the ditches, for transporting the materials.

The laterite wall: 1025m from West to East; 800m from North to South; the bridge across the moat to the West entrance 250m; the West entrance: 255m with triple-tower and include passages connected by halls and prolongated by galleries and in splendid blind doors; behind these are ground-level passages for common people, carts and animals.

The wall contains a series of false windows with finely, carved balusters, the surface is engraved with charming square pattern in rosettes.

From this background, stand out groups of graceful Apsaras or celestial dancers with rich costumes and splendid head-dress.

Above the windows, under the delicate design hanging from the cornice, runs a frieze of warriors on the shoulders of the different animals (all these warriors may be Gods).

Architectural Plan:

The plan of Angkor Wat is hard to understand when walking through the monument because of the vastness.

It is complexity and beauty always attract the attention of the visitors. From a distance it looks like a colossal mass of stone on one level with long causeway leading to the central complex but when approaching it is a series of elevated towers, galleries, chambers, porches and courtyards on different levels linked by stairways.

Symbolism:

Angkor Wat is a miniature replica of the universe in stone and represents an earthly model of the cosmic world. The central tower rises from the centre of the monument symbolizing the mythical mountain Meru, situated at the centre of the universe. Its five towers corresponds to the five peaks of Mount Meru; the outer wall symbolizing the chain of the mountain surrounding the universe and the Moat representing the ocean beyond. The causeway which decorated with Naga balustrade symbolizing the rainbow -- the bridge linked the world of the human being to the paradise -- the world of Gods.



Cambodia Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, the largest monument of the Angkor complex and the best preserved, is an architectural masterpiece. It is perfection in composition, balance, proportions, relief and sculptures make it one of the finest monuments in the world. "Wat" meaning "Monastery" which was called it when it became a Buddhist Hinayanism in the 16th century.  Angkor Wat Temple ...

Cambodia Angkor Thom

 Angkor Thom

The Great City or Capital

Angkor derives from Sanskrit word: "Nagara" meaning "City or Town or Capital"; "Thom" means "Great" so Angkor Thom meaning "Great City".

The town of Angkor Thom as we see it today, is not the first capital of ancient Cambodia in the same place.

The first city was founded by king Yaçovarman I (899 to about 910). This king began his reign in the capital of his father Indravarman I at Hariharalaya. He abandoned the city in order to build his own capital Yaçodharapura meaning the "city of Yaçovarman". It was recognized that the centre of this first city is the Phnom Bakheng. It was chosen for its proximity to the river Siem Reap which does not dry up and because the hill form a natural foundation for the pyramid of the God-King ritual. Yaçodharapura was larger than the present town (4 km at each side) owing to the security was good; it allowed the king to be surrounded the city by cheap enclosures of stake to protect the eastern side, he used the course of the river. Angkor Thom

Cambodia Bayon

Bayon

The Bayon, is the exact centre of the town of Angkor Thom. Having to power after the burning of the capital by a he city and surrounded it with a strong wall. This rampart constitutes the outer enclosure of the Bayon, it is a wide, provided the earth for the enormous embankment which support it, and makes a boulevard 25m wide, with four little temples at the corners, Read More Bayon

Cambodia Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

The outside enclosure of the temple consists of a large laterite wall about 1000m long by 700m wide with four entrances on the every axis. The central block is about 400m from the east or west entrance and is among the largest of the monument in the Angkor Complex. The inscription gives an idea of the size of the temple. The complex include 260 statues or idols, 39 towers with.. Ta Prohm...
Cambodia Banteay Srei Temple

Banteay Srei Temple

Banteay Srei was built by Raja Guru Yajnavaraha for installation Linga "Tribhuvana Maheçvara" in the year 967. A special feature of the decoration was the use of a hard pink sandstone. Architectural and decorative features are unique and fine. A tapestry like background of foliage covers the walls of the structures in the central group as if a deliberate attempt had been made to leave no space undecorated. The architecture is distinguished by superimposed pediments, motifs on the frames of the arches and standing figures in the niches. Panels are decorated with scenes inspired by Hindu epics.Banteay Srei...
Preah Khan

Preah Khan

In 1191, five year after the building of Ta Prohm, the king dedicated this temple to be the shelter of the idol of his father, Dharnindravarman II, in the likeness of Bodhisattva Lokesvara. The causeways lead to the temple are bordered by the same figures carrying a Naga symbolized the Churning the Sea of Milk. This architectural element was the mark of a royal city. It may have served as a temporary residence of King Jayavarman VII while he was rebuilding the capital after the Charms sacked Angkor in 1177. Preah Khan is the name of the sacred sword, the safeguard of Cambodia, which is preserved in the palace of Phnom Penh, it seems that there is a connection between this precious arm and the name of the monument, a name which is not unique among the temple of the country. It is among the largest monuments. It includes a set of four concentric enclosures are longer to the east and west (800m by 700m, 7m high), giant Garudas and serpents are decorated every 50m around the 3km long wall. The wall of central complex forms quadrilateral 250m by 175m with Gopuras or entrance pavilion -  with three passages. The avenues 250m long towards the entrances.

Preah Khan ...

Neak Pean

Neak Pean situated in the middle of artificial lake "Jaya Tadaka", 3700m by 900m, which now has been dried up. In the centre of this space is a square lake 72m along, bordered by four smaller lakes situated on the axis and lower than the embankment surrounding the main one. In the middle of it, is a small sanctuary which was formerly entwined by the trunk-roots of a giant creeper, now dead.  Neak Pean
Eastern Mebon

Eastern Mebon

Eastern the Pre Rup, it looks like a reproduction. The temple was built on an island in the middle of the artificial lake (Eastern Baray: 7 km by 1800m) created by Yaçovarman I. The general arrangement is the same but the whole is of more modest proportions and the base of the quincunx of towers is lower. The platform supporting the five towers is a square of more than 30m per side, mounted on a base.. Eastern Mebon
Pre Rup

Pre Rup...

This term refers to a method of incineration which consisted of tracing the outline of the body of the dead person in the cinders, then doing it the other way round which is called "Turning the body". The outer enclosure wall is 127m by 116m;  Pre Rup...

 Banteay Samre Temple

Banteay Samre Temple located along the way to Bok Mountain and eastern side of East Baray “Yasodharatadaka”. The location of the temple is also located in the Angkor Archaeological site in Siem Reap Cambodia.

Samre is the name of minority people who are living in Siem Reap, they live together in a small village called Preah Dak where the temple was located. Banteay means citadel. Thus Banteay Samre is citadel of Samre.

Read more Banteay Samre Temple

  Preah Ko Bakong Lolei

Three temples Preah Ko, Bakong and Lolei, 15km South-East of Siem Reap town, comprise the Roluos Group of monuments. They are closed together and extend over an area of 3km east of Great Lake. The Roluos group, dating from the late ninth century, is the earliest site of the 600-year Angkor Period. The three temples belonging to this important group have similarities of architecture,  Preah Ko Bakong Lolei....

Beang Mealea

Beng Mealea is one of the largest ensembles in the Angkor region, covering an area - within its 45m.00 wide moats that cover a distance of 4,200m all around - of 108 hectares, and comparable therefore of its plan, the harmonious equilibrium of its composition and the sense of the monumental, given effect by the large clear surfaces..  Beang Mealea

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