Bayon Temple in Siem Reap
Ancient Bayon Temple of Cambodia Mixes
Dating from the 12th century, Bayon Temple is the spectacular central temple of the ancient city of Angkor Thom. The complex is located just to the north of the famous Angkor Wat.
The Bayon Temple was built nearly 100 years after Angkor Wat temple. While its basic structure and earliest part of the temple are unknown, it is clear that Bayon temple was built on the top of an earlier monument and that the temple was not built one time. It was the Gold Tower with four faces and there are 54 tower which represent the Khmer provinces in the Great Khmer Empire Period (Angkor period). The iconography of the four faces represent the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara – Lokeshvara – and it is generally accepted that the four faces on each of the towers are images of King Jayavarman VII, which means the omnipresence of the king. And it also symbolizes the four smiling face as charming smile, sad smile, glad smile and beautiful smile. There are about 200 faces.
The main temple mountain of the Bayon Temple is surrounded by two galleries bearing an extraodinary collect of bas-relief scenes of legendary and historical events. Overall on the outer wall of the outer gallery there are totally more than 11.000 carved figures at a length of about 1.2 km. On the walls of the Bayon temple most of the carvings talk about the battle between Khmer and Champa, Cambodian daily life and legends.
The surrounding gallery is opened up by five gates on the axis of the Bayon. The surrounding wall was like a rampart and protected the capital city from enemy. And it was a real strong rampart. All the gates are decorated with Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s head and the sculpture of Churning of ocean of Milk as well.
During the reign of Jayavarman who leaded the Angkor Thom city, it was a time that was the most splendor in South East Asia. He was the most powerful king and during his reign, a lot of temple were built to identify his power and splendid. But after his death the Angkor Thom Kingdom became weak and so it happened in that time, that the Angkor Kingdom was abandoned. This kingdom stood alone a very long time in the forest until french archaeologist found it.
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