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Thứ Sáu, 19 tháng 6, 2015

Around Angkor Thom (Part 1)



The ultimate Indiana Jones fantasy, Ta Prohm is cloaked in dappled shade , its decomposing towers and walls locked in the slow , strong clinch of large root systems. If Angkor Wat, the Bayon and other temples are evidence to the brilliance of the ancient Khmers, Ta Prohm reminds us equally of the excellent prolificacy and power of the forest . We have a poetic cycle to this honored , with humanity original conquering natural world to speedily create, and Mother Nature once again conquering humanity to gradually ruin .
Constructed from 1186 and initially known as Rajavihara (Monastery of the King), Ta Prohm was a Buddhist temple devoted 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 view . It is the closest most of us should get to feeling the charm of the explorers of old.

Phnom Bakheng HINDU TEMPLE

Around 400m south of Angkor Thom, that hill’s primary draw is the sunset view of Angkor Wat, even though this has turned into something of a festival , with hundreds of visitors 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 greatest complexes at Angkor, a maze of vaulted corridors, fine carvings and lichen-clad stonework. Constructed by Jayavarman VII, it covers a very large area, but the temple itself is within a rectangular wall of nearly 700m by 800m. Preah Khan is a genuine fusion temple, the eastern entrance dedicated to Mahayana Buddhism, with equal-sized doors, and the other cardinal directions dedicated 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 small temple just east of Preah Khan has a big 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 form 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 large permanent temples constructed 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.

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