The Highlights Within Angkor Wat

Written by iHeartKhmer, April 24, 2019

One of the most beautiful spots in Cambodia is the complex temples of Angkor Wat.  Angkor Wat is over 400 kilometers of 100 beautiful temples surrounded by a jungle. In fact, the temples went undiscovered many years, hidden in the jungle, before the XIX century stumbled upon them.  All the temples of Angkor Wat were built over four different centuries, offering much history and difference in styles, making the whole site even more complex.

Angkor Wat, what a breathtaking beauty!

Angkor Wat, the biggest Asian pyramid, was built by Suryavarman II, and it is the most beautifully constructed temple in the entire area.  Not only is Angkor Wat the largest temple, standing 65m high, but there are three hundred unique decorations of the heavenly nymphs. Angkor Wat is one of the most beautiful places on the entire earth, and its beauty cannot simply be put into words or taken in a picture.  Angkor Wat is known for its perfect symmetry and five beautiful towers. Angkor Wat is considered the mother of all temples, hints to why the whole area of one hundred temples is named Angkor Wat. It faces west, unlike all the other temples which face east. Angkor Wat is also one of the most religious inspired monuments that has ever been created.

The next beautiful, complex temple to visit is the Bayon, which was built by the Jayavarman VII.  The Bayon consists of 54 towers and 216 Avalokiteshvara faces. From a distance this temple may just look like a pile of stones, but you approach it with the sun shining on the faces, the magic and beauty of the temple are revealed to you  Looking at the Bayon you will see three levels, two rectangular and the third circular. The Bayon does an excellent job at portraying an everyday life scene in Cambodia back in the XII century.

As stated above, the temples were lost in the jungle surrounding it for four centuries, and it was not rediscovered until the XIX century.  When found, many temples were covered with trees from nature trying to take back its space. The temples were then cleaned and restored for tourism, but one temple was left as found; this is the temple Ta Prohm.  The temple represents a great, unique war between man and nature where one cannot tell the difference between the two. Another astonishing view is the Elephant Terrace, which is literally a 350 m long terrace of elephants with many lions decorating the path.  It is believed that the path was used as a place for the public to stand and watch royal ceremonies. This was a place for the early Khmer people to play the ceremonial music and dance their traditional dance.  If you know much about the Khmer culture or Phleng Khmer, then this place will astonish you.

Another great temple that represents the Khmer culture is the Banteay Srei.  The majority of its declarations are 3D and display epic scenes and the everyday life for the Khmer culture.  The sand stones are of soft color, making it a perfect combination. This temple is in a different area then the other four we discussed above, but it is definitely still worth visiting.

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