Siem Reap Vistior Guide 59th


Bayon tttt

Constructed: Late 12 th century C.E. King/Patron: Jayavarman VII Style: Bayon If you see only two temples, Angkor Wat and Bayon should be the ones. The giant stone faces of Bayon have become one of the most recognizable images connected to clas- sic Khmer art and architecture. There are 37 standing towers, most but not all sporting four carved faces oriented toward the cardinal points. Who the faces might represent is a matter of debate but it has been argued it may be Loksvara, Mahayana Buddhism's compassionate Bodhisattva, or perhaps a combination of Buddha and Jayavarman VII. Religion: Buddhist

Bayon was the Jayavarman VII's state-temple and in many ways represents the pinnacle of his massive building cam- paign. It appears to be, and is to some degree, an architectural muddle, in part because it was constructed in a some- what piecemeal fashion for over a century. The best of Bayon are the bas-reliefs on the exterior walls of the lower level and on the upper level where the stone faces reside. The bas-reliefs on the southern wall contain real-life scenes from the historical sea battle between the Khmer and the Cham. It is not clear whether this represents the Cham invasion of 1177AD or a later battle in which the Khmer were victorious. Even more interesting are extensive carvings of unique and revealing scenes of everyday life that are interspersed among the battle scenes, including market scenes, cockfighting, chess games and childbirth. Also note the unfinished carvings on other walls, likely indicating the death of Jayavarman VII and the subsequent end of his building campaign. Some of the reliefs on the inner walls were carved at a later date under the Hindu king Jayavarman VIII. The surrounding tall jungle makes Bayon a bit dark and flat for photographs near sunrise and sunset. Chapel of the Hospital t R)asaTlak;nag¬mnÞIreBTüRBH)aTC½yv½rµnTI 7 ¦ Constructed: Late 12 th century C.E. Religion: Buddhist King/Patron: Jayavarman VII Style: Bayon 102 hospitals were built throughout the empire under Jayavarman VII. The hospital itself was probably constructed of perishable materials such as wood and bamboo, which has long since disappeared, leaving only the sandstone hospital temple or ‘chapel’ for the ages. This temple and the one at Ta Prohm Kel opposite Angkor Wat offer two examples within the Park area. Constructed of sandstone, this Chapel of the Hospital is in rough condition but some carvings are still visible. A quiet, meditative spot, easily accessible but vis- ited by few tourists.

R)asaTecAsayeTvta Religion: Hindu

Chau Say Tevoda t Constructed: Early 12 th century C.E.

King/Patron: Suryavarman II Style: Angkor Wat Chau Say Tevoda is a small temple of similar design and floor plan to Thom-manon located across the street (except for additional gopuras and library). For years it looked like Thommanon’s neglected sister, languishing in significantly worse condi- tion . In recent years Chau Say Tevoda has undergone an extensive restoration proj- ect, which is now complete.

Chau Say Tevoda seems to stand in partnership with Thommanon , but in fact was built much later in Suryavarman II’s rule. Chau Say Tevoda displays some well-executed carvings that are in still fair condition, especially those on the eastern gopura. Though most carvings are Hindu-themed, there are also some Buddhist-themed reliefs. The eastern walkway from the temple leads to the Siem Reap River a few hundred meters away.

R)asaTembuNüxagekIt Religion: Hindu (Shiva)

East Mebon tt

Constructed: Late 10 th century C.E. King/Patron: Rajendravarman II Style: Pre Rup Large temple-mountain-like ruin, rising three levels and crowned by five towers, most with very well preserved lintel carvings. Jayavarman IV, a usurper, moved the capital from Angkor to Koh Ker in 928AD. Sixteen years later Rajendravarman II returned the capital to Angkor and shortly thereafter con- structed East Mebon on an island in the middle of the now dry Eastern Baray . Inscriptions indicate that it was built in part to help reestablish the continuity of

kingship at Angkor after the interruption when the seat of power had been moved to Koh Ker. There is some debate as to whether East Mebon should be categorized as a temple-mountain. The temple is dedicated to Shiva in honor of the king’s parents. Inscriptions record activity as early as 947AD, but the temple was not consecrated until 952AD.

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