Monday, November 25, 2013

Bayon Temple, Angkor, Cambodia

The Bayon Temple is distinct for "it's 54 Gothic style towers decorated by 216 coldly smiling enormous faces of Avalokiteshvara that bear more than a passing resemblance to the great king himself "   Jayavarnam VII (1181-1219) had driven the Chams out of Cambodia and reclaimed Angkor after they sacked it in 1177.  Prior to Jayavarnam VII ,the fount of royal divinity reposed in the Hindu deity Shiva (and, occasionally, Vishnu).  Jayavarnum VII adopted Mahayan Buddhism and looked to Avalokiteshvara, The Bodhisattva of Compassion for patronage during his reign. (Lonely Planet - Cambodia)

When I arrived elephants were taking tourists for rides. I wanted to ride on an elephant but unfortunately they take a break in the heat of mid day.  I arrived just as they were taking their break.  I've not ridden an elephant but will one day.  The rocks for these temples were moved using the elephants or the nearby river which brought the great stones from the mountain area.

I wandered through this temple impressed by the Bodhisattva faces.  Trekking temples is hot going but worth it. I loved this temple especially the bas relief's of the elephants in war, driving the Clams out.
There's also a group of heads along the causeway before you enter the outer gate.  It's all truly spectacular.
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