Temple of Angkor – Day 12

Most people enter the ancient capital of Angkor Thom through the south gate where 54 gods and 54 demons take part in an epic tug of war. This would have been an intimidating entrance to have to pass through in the 13thcentury. For us the religion involved here is confusing to say the least. Part Hindu, part Buddhism the Khmer people changed their minds over the years before eventually settling on a combination of the two.

 

Bayon is the temple of many faces. All 54 towers are decorated with faces that seem to stare down on you from every angle. Viewed side on with a blue sky behind and these faces look even more other worldly.

Terrace of the Elephants, 350m long and decorated at each end with elephants was used as a viewing stand for ceremonies, a real sign of the size of the Khmer empire at its height.
Many of the temples lay untouched in the jungle for years and it is a testament to their solid construction that they remained. Ta Prohm however, reminds us of the power of nature. Here huge trees grow out of the temple roof and huge snake like roots threaten to crumble the walls.

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