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Photography - Surrounding Moat - Prasat Bayon Temple 023

Photo – The surrounding moat of Angkor Thom city. Now this moat is a beautiful place to just sit and watch the sunrise.

Surrounding Moat of Angkor Thom City :

Angkor Thom city (two miles north of Angkor Wat) is surrounded by the moat and this surrounding moat is about four square miles, laid out in a square and for centuries it was the seat of the Khmer government. The ruins are scattered over this large area. Most of the main temples were built under King Jayavarman VII, who felt Hinduism had failed his kingdom, and thus converted to Buddhism and followed the teachings of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara and dedicated his temples to Buddha. Angkor Thom means “Great City.”

Temples inside the walls of Angkor Wat include Bayon, Phimeanakas, Baphuon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, Prah Palilay, Tep Pranam and Prasat Suor Prat. Many of the original buildings, such as the king’s place, were made of wood and have long since disappeared.

The buildings at Angkor Thom city are not as large or well preserved as those Angkor Wat, but they are still quite impressive all the same with all their classical style structures. Some people like Angkor Thom city more than Angkor Wat because some of the features are more interesting like the stone heads of the smiling king. Around it is the remnant of the moat (now dry) that was once eight miles long and 300 feet wide and the moat was filled with crocodiles to deter attackers. A causeway led to the Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King.

Five gates, which are more or less intact, mark the entrance to the site, The main gate was made with sculptures of 54 gods, one on each side , and the same number of demons on the other. Unfortunately some of the figures have had their heads knocked off by looters. The others are crowned by our massive faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, so that each face pints n a cardinal direction.

The Bayon’s most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and smiling king stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peak. The temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The current main conservatory body, the Japanese Government Team for the Safeguarding of Angkor (the JSA) has described the temple as “the most striking expression of the baroque style” of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.

More photos of Prasat Bayon Temple here.

Our group trip photos in Instagram.

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