Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Bayon, a link between heaven and Earth


After his coronation in 1181, our old friend Jayavarman VII launched a massive public works program that found its ultimate expression in its capital Angkor Thom and his heart, the Bayon temple.

As Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom is nothing less than a physical representation of the universe. The city is divided into four parts by perpendicular axes in the Middle, with growing Bayon where the axes meet: standing as a link between heaven and Earth, a symbol of the mythical Mount Meru. A now dry moat was the cosmic ocean.

Tourists can visit the many narrow passages in the temple, who formerly wore the statues of the minor local deities. Lower galleries of the temple are filled well preserved, extremely detailed bas - relief carvings, showing the events of Hindu Mythology, the Khmer history, and vignettes of the lives of ordinary subjects of Jayavarman.

Nothing is more convincing, however, that the forest of 54 laps on the upper level of the temple, each carrying four large faces next four geographic divisions, totaling more than 200 faces all in all.

Trivia: The faces on the towers have a striking resemblance to King Jayavarman himself!

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