world yin-yang
Fred Hansen, Spring 2005
AngkorWat Pictures
After Phnom Penh we travelled north to the temples of Angkor. The first was Angkor Wat, surrounded by a moat 200 meters across and a mile long on each side. Here the temple itself is framed in one of the snake railings that once wound its way all around the compound.
Angkor Wat has a number of Buddha sculptures user for daily prayers.
Work is ongoing to restore Angkor Wat.
Every surface is carved. Fences are surmounted with snakes.
Flat surfaces are engraved in bas relief representations of Hindu myths.
The four outer walls of Angkor Wat itself are covered in bas relief. Here we see half of one wall. I imagined myself as a carver starting at one end of a blank wall. Here is my hammer and here my chisel. "Tink, tink."
Stairs to the highest level of the temple were quite steep.
The carving is often quite intricate. The strings here are something to do with restoration work.
On each side of the path to the temple is a "library" like this one.
At dawn, I climbed to the top, but got no really interesting pictures.
Dawn finally broke when I was back down from the top.
The next day we visited Angkor Thom, the temple usually shown as overrun by the "jungle." But I would call it a forest; it is quite open.
The trees have even moved some of the pieces of the temple.
This last temple, Ta Prohm, is Buddhist. It features at least forty huge images of Buddha on the four faces of each of ten towers.
A modern Buddha near the old ones.
Leaving the temples area we went through the gate and over the bridge of gods and demons. Here are gods, smiling.
Demons are always shown scowling.