Back on the posting binge - The rest of the temples

muertemaria's picture

I am back in the states and have an awesome case of jet lag. Today I managed to sleep until 5am which is way better then yesterday which was 2am. So I have a bunch of posts in the pre-written stage about the rest of my trip that I will be posting this week. My schedule is that I am flying back to DC on Monday and will be trying to find a new place to live by the 1st. So if you know if anything let me know. Onto the post.

There are a lot of temples at the Angkor Wat complex so I wanted to highlight some of the others that we went to see.

Angkor Thom Complex

Demon side of Angkor Thom EntranceBesides the large Bayon temple when you come into the complex there are these massive gates that have huge statues that on one side are demons and the other side are the gods pulling the large naga snake god. This one gate is the only one (out of 4) that still has the heads to all the gods and demons (I am sitting with a demon). They are pretty awesome.

Bapoun Temple - This is another temple in the complex that is actually massive and used to have a huge tower of broze that was built in 1060. Bapoun TempleIt includes a large reclining buddha in the middle. The problem with the temple is that it has collasped a few times and in the 40s and 50s the French came in and tried to put it back together again and had mapped out the miles and miles of stones and where they go to put the temple back together and when the Khmer Rogue came in the maps were destroyed so now there are miles of stones along the ground and they have to start back from zero to figure out where they go. You couldn't actually go into this temple becuase they are trying to rebuild it but I got a picture of some of the blocks they are trying to figure out what they are.

Elephant Terrace and the Leper King Terrace - The Elephant Terrace is a long winding wall that has carvings of Elephants and 7-headed horses and three headed elephants. Leper King TerraceWhen you are walking close to it you can't see it very well but driving by you see this large wall of elephants marching which is pretty cool. The leper king terrace is a small wall that you walk in between the two walls and see the underworld of dieties and demons and 7 headed horses. At the top above the walls is a statue of the leper king which they think was Yama the god of the underworld. Here are all the Leper King pictures.

PhimeanakasPhimeanakas - This is a pyramid on the royal palace site. The myth of the place is that every night the Khmer king lay with a woman who was the incarnation of a nine-headed "naga" (snake) which had the power over the lands of the kingdom. While I did not see that. I did walk up the super steep stairs to get to the top of the temple. Only a minor panic attatck coming back down. I did not let go of the railing. I was too nervous to take any good pictures from the top. Sorry.

Banteay Srei TempleThe next big section we went to was about an hour away from all of this called Banteay Srei. This temple was built in the 950s and is amazing. It is not a royal temple, it was built by a counsellor of Jayavarman V. This temple is much smaller then the other temples, but it was built out of this rose colored stone and has the most amazing carvings.

 

Banteay Srei Temple Additional Carvings I wanted to show - This is this is a carving of Vishnu in the shape of a lion called "narashima" ripping the chest of the king of the "asuras" Hiranyakasipu.

This is the "fire in the Khandava Forest" carving. This is Indra, God of the sky, riding his three headed elephant Airavata and creating rain to put out a fire in the Khandava forest, created by the god Agni in order to kill the naga Taksaka who lived in the forest. The god asked Krishna and his brother Balarama to help, and they positioned themselves on either side of the forest to stop the animals from fleeing and to fire their arrows to stop the rain from falling.

These are the two monkey brothers Valin and Sugriva, battle for the crown. This is part of the great story called the "Ramayana"

The last thing was that we went to a performance at Angkor Wat at night that was a dance performance by a french modern dance group and then the Cambodian national ballet did a performance. So we got to see the main temple lit up at night which was awesome and all my pictures of it suck. But I did get some good ones of the ballet.

Night Performace at Angkor Wat Cambodian National Ballet

Comments

Welcome back!

Sounds awesome. Can't wait to catch up!