Thứ Sáu, 19 tháng 6, 2015

Around Angkor Thom (Part 1)



The eventual Indiana Jones fantasy, Ta Prohm is cloaked in dappled darkness , its crumbling towers and walls locked in the deliberate , brawny clinch of huge root systems. If Angkor Wat, the Bayon and other temples are proof to the talent of the ancient Khmers, Ta Prohm reminds humand equally of the great fertility and influence of the jungle . We have a poetic cycle to this admired , with humanity first conquering nature to promptly create, and natural world once again discovering humanity to unhurriedly destroy.
Built from 1186 and initially known as Rajavihara (Monastery of the King), Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayavarman VII. Ta Prohm is a temple of towers, close courtyards and narrow corridors. Ancient trees tower overhead, their leaves filtering the daylight and casting a greenish pall over the whole scene. It is the closest most of us will get to feeling the magic of the travellers of old.

Phnom Bakheng HINDU TEMPLE

About 400m south of Angkor Thom, that hill’s main draw is the sunset view of Angkor Wat, although this has turned into something of a show , with hundreds of travellers jockeying for space. The temple, built by Yasovarman I (r 889–910), has five tiers with seven levels.


(Sacred Sword) The temple of Preah Khan (Sacred Sword) is one of the largest complexes at Angkor, a maze of vaulted corridors, fine carvings and lichen-clad stonework. Built by Jayavarman VII, it covers a very large area, but the temple itself is within a rectangular wall of about 700m by 800m. Preah Khan is a genuine combination temple, the eastern entrance dedicated to Mahayana Buddhism, with equal-sized doors, and the other cardinal directions devoted to Shiva, Vishnu and Brahma, with successively smaller doors, emphasising the unequal nature of Hinduism.


Another late-12th-century work of – no surprises here – Jayavarman VII, this little temple just east of Preah Khan has a wide square pool surrounded by four smaller square pools, with a circular ‘island’ in the middle. Water once flowed from the central pond into the four peripheral pools via four ornamental spouts, in the shape of an elephant’s head, a horse’s head, a lion’s head and a human head.


The monuments of Roluos, which served as the capital for Indravarman I (r 877–89), are among the earliest big eternal temples built by the Khmers and mark the dawn of Khmer classical art. Preah Ko, dedicated to Shiva, has elaborate inscriptions in Sanskrit on the doorposts of each tower and some of the best surviving examples of Angkorian plasterwork. The city’s central temple, Bakong, with its five-tier central pyramid of sandstone, is a representation of Mt Meru. Roluos is 13km southeast of Siem Reap along NH6.