The Bayon was the state temple of King Jayavarman VII, built at the end of the 12th century. It is a mountain temple built to represent Mount Meru, the center of the universe in Hindu and Buddhist cosmology. However, unlike most Khmer temples, the Bayon is not surrounded by a moat and walls with gopura entrances.
The Bayon’s most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers that jut from the upper terrace and cluster around its center peak.
The similarity of the 216 gigantic faces to other statues of Jayavarman VII has led many scholars to the hypothesise that the faces are representations of the king himself. Others believe that the faces belong to Avalokitesvara, the bodhisattva of compassion while yet another commentary suggested that the temple was originally built for the Hindu God Brahma.
The temple is also popular for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. This is one of the many ‘must visit’ temples.
Constructed for king Suryavarman II in the early twelfth century, Angkor Wat, the best-preserved temple in Angkor, is the epitome of the high classica...Read More
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