Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Forgotten Wonders - Angkor Wat

It has been awhile since I was back from Siem Reap. I am still thinking to visit the place another time. I am really thinking about it, perhaps spend two weeks in the ancient town - make it slow, enjoy the scenery and do some voluntary work.
The large afternoon crowd moving towards the temple complex. Reaching Angkor Wat, visitors can appreciate the full beauty of the building.
During the lifetime of King Suryavarman II, Angkor Wat was used as a temple.
When he died, it eventually became his tomb. After his death, there was war between the Khmer empire and their rival kingdoms.
After Angkor declined, it lay forgotten and gradually became completely overgrown with jungle vegetation. Threats include looting, vandalism and natural forces.
It was not until 1860 that a French naturalist, Henri Mouhat, came upon the ruins by accident as he was collecting plant specimens in the jungle.
The discovery inspired Mouhat to become an archaeologist. He made the first accurate plans and sketches of Angkor Wat and was the first to bring news of its wonders back to Europe.
Until the 1950s Indo-China was a French colony. Henri Mouhat’s work was followed later by a French archaeologists who campaigned for the restoration of Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat eventually became a Unesco World Heritage Site in December, 1992.
The visit to the temple greatly add to your experience climbing up the tiers these steep stairways to pray at the shrines.
The very steep stairways represent the difficulty of ascending to the kingdom of the gods.
It was an experience that I really enjoyed and something that I will not forget.
Much stones were used to build the magnificent architectural of Angkor Wat. On the other hand, visually, and artistically breathtaking that nearly 2000 distinctively rendered apsara carvings adorn the walls throughout the temple.
Along the corridors, carvings depicting stories and characters from Hindu mythology and the historical wars of Suryavarman II. A guide can be quite helpful in explaining these stories, but we did not have one.
The visual impact of Angkor Wat, particularly on one's first visit, is just awesome.
Some say that it is good luck to pay homage to all four Buddha images before departing Angkor.
Because it is holy place for the Khmers (Cambodian people), it is best to follow proper dress code when visiting Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples albeit serenely placed have been for the latter part of the 20th century a place of genocide and severe suffering.
The surrounding moat outside the temple complex represents the cosmic ocean.
The Cambodia tuk tuk and driver waiting outside the Angkor Wat temple. We hired one of them, taking us from one temple to another.
Angkor Wat represents the spiritual and cosmological significance of the Khmer civilization.

It was difficult to keep my emotions in check, for this (Angkor Wat) was a sight I’d dreamed of glimpsing ever since I was in college.


Anonymous said...

this series of pictures is interesting, many i have never seen of Angkor. The picture of the monkey is super-cute

catalyst0527 said...

Sometimes, I want to sleep just like this monkey. :)
Good picture!

catalyst0527 said...

I want to put your blog onto my blog's "intriguing blog list".
Is it okay? :)

Patrick Leong said...

ed : i miss the place. i really want to get back there again during the cooler season.

catalyst0527 :the monkey was lazing around. i think it has a name but i forgot. sure you can list me on your blog. thanx.

catalyst0527 said...

Thank you, patrick leong.
I add your blog on my blog list.

I'll visit here often. :)

Estebe said...

Hi Patrick,

really nice, wondeful pictures, incredible places ... keep taking us with you to this beatiful places,



Anonymous said...

Wow, wow. Gorgeous. Now, I really must make plans to go there for real.
Ai Ling

Rahmi from Holiday In Angkor Wat said...

Yes, totally agree. The best way to 'do' the temples is to take is easy and slow. Thanks for writing this!

Research Papers said...

The picture of the monkey is super-cuted