A guide to Angkor

This text is taken from a wonderful little book that was published in the 1990s by Nelles Verlag and doesn't seem to exist anymore. The author was Annaliese Wulf
Angkorian period
Style of Preah Ko, c. 854-893
Built by: King Indravarman I, 877-889 and his son Yasovarman I, 889-900

The three temples of Preah Ko, Ba- kong and Lolei are called the Roluos group, after the village a 1/2-mile (1 km) away. Coming at the beginning of the sightseeing tours, they show the origins of the artificially constructed temple-hill which characterizes the later Khmer architecture, as well as the beginnings of relief sculpture.

About 15 miles (24 km) east of Siem Reap, on the National Highway 6, the temples lie on a north-south line, with Lolei in the north and Bakong in the south, scarcely a mile (1.6 km) apart.

**Lolei, the most northerly of the three temples, was built by King Yaso- varman [in 8923 in the Preah Ko style. It was intended as a shrine in honor of his father, Indravarman I, and stood in the middle of a buray, or artificial lake. which has now dried up. The four brick towers with their tapering roof structures stand on a single two-tiered base. It is possible that six towers were originally planned.

The lintels and panels of the false portals are decorated with winding fo- lage, within which little figures play. Es- pecially notable are the door frames made from a single block of sandstone and embellished with written characters, and the corners of the walls, with fear- some dvarapalas brandishing weapons, guardian figures or figures of women carrying flowers.

**Preah Ko (Bako), built by King In- drvarman I in 880 in the style which is named after the temple, lies halfway be- tween Lolei and Bakong.

The group consists of six brick towers (prasats) open to the east and arranged in two rows of three on a single base. They were built in memory of some royal an- cestors, the front three towers for the male ancestors, and the three behind for the female. In front of them are two large buildings which open to the west.

Two sculptures representing the bull Nandi, the steed of the god Shiva, once stood here, explaining the name popu- larly given to the temple: Preah ko means “temple of the sacred ox.”

The square site is surrounded by walls about 330 ft (100 m) long on each side. These are covered with stucco into which a little decoration has been carved; but this has crumbled away in many places. Some of the beautifully decorated sand- stone lintels and panels of the false portals which were set into the walls, have remained intact.

**Bakong, built in the Preah Ko style by King Indravarman | in the year 881, is the southernmost of the three temples. It is the first artificially constructed temple- hill to have been raised by a Khmer king In the plains.

The outer wall, half ruined and over- grown by jungle, measures a huge 2,310 ft by 2,970 ft (700 m by 900 m). A sec- ond protective wall was lined with small, richly decorated shrines, of which little now remains. Two approaches, between eroded and scarcely recognizable naga balustrades, lead over the moat, 200 ft (60 m) wide, separating the two walls of laterite stone which surround the inner area. The center is occupied by a 5-tiered temple pyramid, 200 ft (60 m) square at its base and tapering evenly upwards, with a prasat, a temple tower, on the highest terrace. It is a representation of the sacred mountain, the meru, of Indian mythology, the central point of the universe, upon which the 33 gods are en- throned. The five terraces, to which are added the level of the ground on which they stand and the tower-shrine which crowns them, make up the seven levels which the meru, the mountain of the gods, also possessed. Laterite stone was probably used to build up the temple-hill. It is faced with gigantic slabs of sand- stone. The corners of each platform are adorned with elephants carved from single pieces of stone.

On the top platform there now stands a small, dilapidated pagoda of more recent date. Of the buildings at the foot of the staircase only some on the west side have survived. Beside the pyramid there were originally eight towers, which were very fine examples of Khmer architecture but are now almost buried under rubble. The galleries near the entrance pavilions have also been destroyed. We now come to the free-standing sculptures. In a side sanc- tuary is a group representing the Hindu god Indra and his two consorts.

On the smooth sandstone surfaces there are not only figures shown Standing next to each other, but, for the first time in Khmer art, bas-relief with a continuous Sequence of scenes. On the fifth level, panels with scenes from mythology have been preserved.The ornamentation of the buildings at Bakong, the lintels and col- umns, panels and false portals, are the most beautiful of their epoch.

A fairly recent Buddhist monastery is situated in the temple precincts.

Angkorian period
Style of Angkor Wat (c.1 100-1175)
Built by: King Suriyavarman Il (1113-1150)

It is worth walking right round the temple in order to appreciate its massive size; also, in order to see it in different kinds of light, to watch it changing color and even, it seems, shape, as the light plays on it. This magnificent example of classical Khmer architecture combines Indian and Indochinese culture and the accumulated experience of centuries in one of the world’s most beautiful monu- ments.

At the height of his power, Suriyavar- man II, one of the most important of the Khmer kings, ordered the gigantic con- struction to be started from all four sides at once, so that, by a miracle of planning, it was completed in less than 40 years by numberless laborers, master builders and stonemasons. The king actually lived to see it finished.

Temple or mausoleum? Historians do not agree as to why Ang- kor was built, although there is no disput- ing that its purpose was a sacred one. Even the god-kings of the Khmer built their palaces of wood and roofed them with straw or tiles. Stone was only used for buildings intended as places for wor- shipping the gods and deified rulers.

The main entrance of a typical Khmer temple, as in most oriental shrines, faces €ast to the rising sun. However, the en- trance of Angkor Wat faces west, the same way as the temples of the dead.

There are known geographical reasons why exceptions are made when it comes to the eastward orientation. And such rea- sons can be found at Angkor — for instance the fact that it is bounded to the east by the Siem Reap river, or that it was located in the middle of what was then the capital city. But there are also clues that suggest it may have been intended as a mauso- leum, a place where the king would have been venerated after his death. Angkor was dedicated to the god Vishnu, and Su- riyavarman II was a devotee of Vishnu. No images of gods have been found in the temple; on the other hand, some scho- lars believe they have evidence that the king’s ashes rested here. Moreover, the god-kings had been erecting mausoleums for their own posthumous veneration and that of their ancestors, since the 9th cen- tury. A further clue is a scene on a panel depicting a kind of “Last Judgement.” A relief showing the king at the head of his troops also points to posthumous wor- ship. Another piece of evidence that Ang- kor was built as a royal mausoleum, and one that is difficult to refute, is the fact that in order to understand the narrative sequence depicted in the reliefs, it is necessary to walk round the temple anti- clockwise, with the reliefs on one’s left. This corresponds to the ritual of the dead, whereas, in the orient, temples to the gods must be walked round clockwise. Architecture and symbolism Masonry steps lead to the wide moat that surrounds the temple compound. It forms a rectangle, nearly a mile (1.5 km) long from east to west and over 3/4 mile (1.3 km) from north to south. The moat 1s linked to the Siem Reap river by a canal and was fed by it, as were the reservoirs serving the town, palace and paddy- fields. The temple-hill within the moat is the Khmer interpretation of the meru, the Hindu mountain of the gods, surrounded by the world-ocean.

Between the moat and the laterite stone wall, 3,200 ft by 2,800 ft (1 km by 0.8 km), which surrounds the temple area, a broad footpath runs round the whole site.

Angkor is inaccessible from the north and south, as there is no way over the moat. To the east, however, it is crossed by an earth causeway which is passable in the dry season and may have been used for the delivery of building materials and supplies to the temple city. To the south, east and north, the laterite wall is punctuated by beautifully decorated entrance pavilions on a cruciform ground-plan, which were linked by paths to the main temple.

The single causeway from the west, 720 ft (220 m) long, is paved with large, irregular sandstone slabs, and leads to the turreted main entrance. Only remnants are left of the columns and the naga ba- lustrade of the causeway. Stone steps lead to the turreted main and side portals with their large vestibules. The turrets are damaged, but one can visualize their for- mer elegance, which gives a foretaste of the temple facade.

From the entrance, colonnades lead to the right and left, roofed with half-vaults which rest on square columns; many of these have fallen down. The colonnades end in small pavilions called elephant gates, which were the only entrances large enough for animals and carts.

The many-headed cobra, symbol of the naga, the serpent queen of pre-Hindu cults, appears thousands of times over in Khmer art as a decorative motif on the balustrades along approach paths, bridges, moats and pools. In Angkor Wat, on both sides of the entrance gates, snake bodies raise their seven heads, each with its hood outspread.

When one steps out of the darkness of the main portal into the bright light of the first courtyard, the breathtaking outline of the temple pyramid, still a long way off. comes into view. At first only three of the five towers are visible. (This “three-towered™ Angkor is the emblem of the Khmer Rouge. The People’s Repub- lic used the five-towered Angkor as its emblem).

The temple-hill is not located in the center, as in most Khmer temples. but is set back towards the east and is reached by a processional way [.140-ft-long and 30-ft-wide (350 m by 9.5 m), lined by serpents with their bodies erect. their heads raised and hoods outspread. The avenue widens in places to form lateral terraces ornamented with nagas.

By setting the temple-hill further back, the unknown architect of Angkor makes use of an effect that the Greeks also ex- ploited. We cannot say whether this was something he had learnt, or had worked out for himself. But it is so designed that the temple is seen to best effect from a istance which is double the width of the uilding. In this instance the 1,140 ft (350 m) to the temple pyramid is twice the width of Angkor Wat’s west facade.

Half way along the approach are two small buildings to the right and left. In front of them are ornamental pools, in which they are reflected. Their purpose is no more clear than the identity of their builder. It is conceivable that they were built by the monks who occupied Angkor for a considerable period from the end of the 15th century. They have recently lost much of their charm due to some rather unsuccessful restoration.

Step by step the visitor draws nearer to the three-tiered pyramid. The base of the first level measures 660 ft from east to west and 590 ft from north to south (200 m by 180 m) and is 13 ft (4 m) high; the second level is 380 ft by 330 ft (115 m by 100 m) at its base and is 20 ft (6 m) high; and the third is 200 ft (60 m) square and 43 ft (13 m) high. The main tower rises from the third level, already at a height of 76 ft (23 m), by a further 13x tt (42 ny), giving a total height of 214 {1 (65 my, This makes it roughly the same height as the cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. which was built at about the same time. The three tiers are surrounded by gal- leries, with towers at the corners und Pa- vilions tn the middle of the steps.

The main tower on the third level is linked to the pavilions by galleries, whose vaulted roofs rest on pillars. From one level to another, flights of roofed steps lead to the next pillared gallery. In place of outer walls to the colonnades and galleries, Angkor has either baluster win- dows, each comprising seven small spiral pillars, or else rows of pillars on which vaulted half-roofs rest. Enough light enters to illuminate the interior walls, which are decorated with reliefs, without allowing glaring sunlight and heat to pen- etrate. The elements of the building ~ towers, galleries and vestibules — are also found in earlier buildings, and in the temple of Baphuon they were used in a similar way; but at Angkor their abun- dance and variety are new, surprising, and carefully employed to give maxi- mum effect.

The principal emphasis of Angkor is horizontal, but out of this the pyramid soars upwards. Its height is enhanced by the receding terracing of the lower struc- ture, the wave-shaped roofing of the gal- leries and the jagged towers.

The reliefs of the first terrace

It is impossible to describe all the scenes in the reliefs, panels and lintels, and to look at them all takes a great deal of time. Just as with the buildings them- selves, it is true that studying a few se- lected examples makes more impact than trying to see everything. The reliefs, which are the work of an unknown num- ber of sculptors working in teams, vary noticeably in quality. The most beautiful are to be found in the west, south and east galleries and their pavilions.

West gallery: the southern section is reached by turning right from the main entrance. The reliefs, which are over 9 ft (2.85 m) high, above a 3 1/2 ft (1.1 m) plinth, depict scenes from the Mahabhar- ata epic of Indian Vishnu mythology. The army of the Kauravas, advancing from the left, is meeting the Pandavas, marching from the right. The battle is in- tended to restore the balance between good and evil. A final victory of good over evil is not conceivable in Indian philosophy. The world consists of posi- live and negative forces: keeping them in balance produces harmony. When this is disturbed, the gods come to the rescue. In the Mahabharata, Vishnu intervenes in his incarnation as the four-armed Krishna: as the charioteer, he shows the hesitating Arjuna, the leader of the Pan- davas, the way to victory. This divine teaching, called the Bhagavad Gita, is a key part of the Hindu faith and is chanted in Indian temples.

The chieftains are represented as tall and magnificent. In one hand they hold a bow, in the other an arrow, and they maintain this pose in all the scenes.

In the upper part lies Bhima, pierced by arrows and mourned by his followers and family; as leader of the Kauravas, he represents the principle of evil. His ap- pearance, with a coarse, round face and bulbous nose, is markedly different from that of Arjuna, who is slim, with a long, straight) nose. The warriors fighting alongside the heroes can also be distin- guished by their physical appearance. Approximately in the center of the relief 1s depicted the most important scene: Ar- Juna in his war chariot with Krishna hold- ing the reins.

The pavilion at the end of the west gallery has a cruciform ground plan. On the east wall of the northen arm of the cross is a depiction of Krishna (Vishnu) lifting a huge rock above his head. This well-known scene shows the god of herdsmen shielding them from the deluge sent down by the god Indra to drown them. On the upper west wall: a motif common in Angkor, taken from another Vishnu epic, the Ramayana, and showing gods and demons, helped by a snake, churning the Sea of Milk.

In the western wing, above the north corner, is another scene from the Ra- mayana: Ravana, an ugly, evil demon, cunningly abducts the beautiful Sita, wife of Rama (Vishnu), carries her off to the island of Sri Lanka with the intention of making her his bride. Ramaiand his brother Lakshmana. with the help) of many others, among them Garuda. king of the birds. and the monkeys’ leader, Hanuman, succeed in rescuing Sita. The giant Ravana is vanquished. In this epic. too, the underlying theme is the battle of good against evil. The scene on the panel shows Ravana changing himself into a chameleon in order to trick his way into Sita’s chamber.

Southern wing, east corner, upper part: The dying monkey-king. Valin (also called Bali). pierced by an arrow, lies in the arms of his weeping consort, Tara. On the left are Rama, his brother Laksh- mana. and between them a monkey named Sougriva.

West corner, upper part: Shiva is medi- tating on the mountainside in the Hima- layas: beside him is his consort Parvati. At the foot of the mountain stands Ka- madeva, the god of love. who tries to dis- turb Shiva’s meditation by aiming at him with his bow and arrow. Shiva ignores him.

South gallery, west wing: The reliefs | are divided into two unequal parts and | show scenes from Khmer history. In the middle of the first picture sits King Parama Vishnouloka (Suriyavarman II), the founder of Angkor Wat, on a low throne, surrounded by a naga balustrade. He is giving his court staff instructions for the assembling of the troops. Illustrat- ing an inscription, the next scene shows a procession on Mount Shivapada. On the left, at the bottom, princes march with their servants through the forest, with a background of hills. Above them can be seen armed warriors. Brahmans stand near the king, while the servants hold ca- nopies over his head, to symbolize his authority. Under a tree, to the right of the throne, sits Srivarddha, turned towards the hing Moa gesture of devotion. The procession of priacesses below the hing’. throne. and the warriors who are coming down from the mountains, lead on tog second picture.

This shows the king reviewing his army. The amy commanders — are mounted on elephants, and their rank can be seen from the number of canopies of honor Which are accorded to them. Fif- teen canopies are held above King Parama Vishnouloka, and his hair has been drawn up above his head into it conical shape, on which a diamond is prominently displayed. In his hand he carries a sword with a carved handle. of the kind that can still be seen in Cambo- dia today. The soldiers on the lower part of the panel wear headdresses that look like animals’s heads, and are accompa- nied by riders. The last ranks of the col- umn have to walk more quickly. Behind them come the officers on elephants.

In the final section we see Brahmans and priests with their hair coiled on their heads; they are ringing little bells and the chief priest is carrying his hammock with him, as priests still do today when they leave their monasteries. They carry the holy fire with them, in order to invoke the gods’ blessing for the battle. In front of them are musicians, and just before the end of the panel a group of Siamese cap- tives make their way, recognizable by their coarse clothes and their pikes.

South gallery, east wing: the scene, 217 ft (66 m) long, represents heaven and hell. The panel begins with the Day of Judgement, with its punishments and re- wards, and shows a vision of life after death. Many details are reminiscent of medieval European depictions of tortures and torments. There are 37 heavens and 32 hells. In the middle of the panel 1s Yama, the many-armed god of hell, rid- ing on a buffalo, accompanied by his two helpers, Dharma and Shitragupta. He 1s surrounded by the dead, who are waiting for judgement to be pronounced.

Punishments for lesser (ransgressions are scarcely less severe than for serious comes. If people have stolen flowers. they are tied to a tree and nails are ham- Mered into their heads. Above these places of damnation live the good, in magnificent palaces.

East gallery, south wing: The scene, which is 164 ft (50 m) long, shows one of the best-loved episodes from the epic of the Ramayana, and one which is fre- quently represented in Angkor, the churning of the Sea of Milk, from which both gods (devas) and demons (asuras) want to extract amrita, the elixir of 1m- mortality. They have obtained the help of the snake Vasouki and have wound it round Mount Mandara, which rests on the back of a turtle. On the left-hand side the asuras hold the head of the snake, on the right-hand side the devas hold the tail.

The asuras have round, staring eyes and surly faces, and wear crest-like helmets. The devas, on the other hand, have al- mond-shaped eyes and hair piled up on their heads. A monkey holds the end of the snake's tale. The gods and demons have already been churning the sea for a thousand years. Because of this a great turmoil has been caused among the sea creatures; gigantic fish and sea monsters rise to the surface.

The apsaras gradually appear, the beautiful dancers who are depicted on a panel above the relief and on all the walls of Angkor. Next comes Lakshmi, the goddess of beauty; and last of all the elixir of life will be created. In the middle, between gods and demons, Vish- nu is enthroned on Mount Mandara and observes events as a judge. A second snake beneath the relief is interpreted as Vasuki resting at the bottom of the sea. At each end of the panel stand guards and servants.

East gallery, north wing: In the cen- tral vestibule in front of the gallery is an inscription from the 18th century. In it, a governor announces the consecration ofa burial stupa for his family. The ruins of the stupa stand on the path which leads round the temple, near the inscription.

The third gallery

The last tier of the pyramid is sur- peynded by a narrow inner courtyard. Rising up from it with exhilarating steep- peber se the high, square platform of the third terrace. with its miayestic central tower surrounded by four corner towers, Again and again one’s gaze is drawn ty the soaring, apparently infinite height of the main tower, and it is not easy to take in the whole scene at once. As you walk round it, the light falling on the temple- hill constantly changes, making it shim- mer ina variety of colors.

On all four sides, steep stairways with high, narrow steps lead up to the main shrine. One of them has been made safe, with its steps cemented, and a rope to hold on to at one side. It leads up to an entrance with a vestibule. The open-sided outer galleries are very narrow. Passages lead through the shrine to the gateways on the four sides of the tower, forming four small courtyards. At one’s feet the colossal temple site is spread out, with the jungle pressing in on all sides; it seems to be kept at bay only by the moat. From this bird’s eye viewpoint one can trace the route one has taken up through the courtyards and galleries.

To the northwest lies the temple-hill of Bakheng, covered in jungle; to the right of it, hidden beneath high trees, is Ang- kor Thom. To the northeast one can make out Phnom Bok, and behind it the moun- tain ranges of Phnom Kulen.

In the main tower, Buddhist monks who lived here closed up the open sides with walls, in which they carved standing Buddhas. Even in this highest tower French archaeologists in 1908 were dis- appointed to find that treasure hunters had long since stolen everything that could be moved.

*The temple-hill of Bakheng
Angkorian period
Bakheng style (893-925 AD)
Built by: King Yasovarman I, 889-900
Date: 893, built as a shrine to Shiva
LOCATION: 3/4 mile (1.2 km) from Angkor Wat, 1,000 ft (300 m) from the soul door of Angkor Thom, on a hill.

Yasovarman | built his capital, Yasod. hapura around a natural hill, 213 (65 m high, on which he constructed his temple. Three harrow footpaths lead to the plat- form on which the temple is built and the large terrace in front of it. The Most direct and steepest way up, which has few steps sal intact, is guarded by two stone lions. It begins on the road to Angkor Thom. The other two paths are longer and more tortuous, and were used by horses and elephants. The temple of Bakheng is in a very ruined state, and the tall trees that have grown up around it obscure the view of Angkor Wat to the southeast, which must once have been breathtaking, especially at dusk. To the west lies the Western Baray (reservoir) and in the distance Phnom Krom and the Great Lakes. Vast forests stretch away to the east and north, from which the city of Takeo and the temple of Bayon rise up. A few Buddhist relics date from the beginning of this cen- tury, when monks ran a theological col- lege here. On the hill, cut into the rock, rose the five-tiered pyramid on its Square terraces. If one includes the ground level and the buildings at the top, this had seven levels Inall. It is now scarcely possible to make out the wall around the shrine. The bot- tom terrace measures 236 ft (72 m) on cach side of its base, and the top tier, 13] [t (40 m). From the top platform rose five lowers (prasat), which for the first time in Khmer architecture were not built of brick but of sandstone. In line with them. flights of stairs led up to the shrine. The temple-hill was constructed according to the rules of cosmology. It is both a stone calendar and a representation of the meru, the mountain of the gods in Indian mythology.

A total of 108 small shrines surround the central prasat. The Indian calendar with its four phases, each of 27 moon- rises gives the number 108. On the seven terraces of the meru sat 33 gods. The ob- server standing directly in front of the py- ramid saw instead of 108, only 33 shrines — the others were hidden.

+ Baksei Chang Krang
Angkorian period
Style of Bakheng 893-925 AD
Built by: King Harshavarman I, 900-922, date of construction: 921
LOCATION. near the hill of Bakheng, 660 ft (200 m) from the beginning of the balustrade of Angkor Thom, standing some way back from the road in the forest, on the left side.

King Harshavarman I Ieft few build- ings that we know of. The small, square based pyramid with four terraces is one of the last buildings in Angkor to be con- structed of brick. The bottom tier has sides 88 ft (27 m) long, while the fourth tier measures 49 ft (15 m) along each side. Its platform is 39 ft (12 m) high. The outer wall has disappeared, except for the remains of a gateway which can still be seen on the east side.

The narrow, badly damaged terrace, are most casily climbed on the north ang south sides. The shrine is built facing the east. The richly decorated false porta], and panels of sandstone have been obit. erated by damp, and only the motif on the main portal is sull recognizable; typical of its period, it shows a figure with an elephant’s head rearing its trunk.

The brick walls were once covered in stucco, but nothing remains of this now, and so the ornamentation has also disap- peared. There is an inscription in Sanskrit dating from 948, above a door frame on the north side; it dates from the reign of Rajendravarman, and names Hindu gods and the founders of the Kambu empire, Pera and Kambu Svayambhuva. It also reports that the king had lingams erected in various places.

The floor of the small inner room his below the level of the terrace outside, a characteristic feature that can be ob- served in many Khmer temples. On the altar there is a reclining Buddha from 4 later period.

The reliefs in this gallery have no unl- fying theme, but represent individual people and events. From the execution of the reliefs it is clear that the sculptors here did not possess the same mastery as those responsible for other parts of the temple.

North gallery, east and west wings: The scenes from the Vishnu-Krishna leg- end, again, do not attain the perfection of those described earlier.

Pavilion at the northwest corner: The reliefs in this pavilion are among the most beautiful in Angkor Wat, even though badly damaged in places.

Western arm of the cross, south wall: Vishnu (Krishna) returns from a success- ful campaign. mounted on his steed, the divine bird Garuda, and accompanied by his warriors and servants who carry the spoils. Garuda has brought a boulder, which was the reason for the expedition, and which can be seen inthe background. To the right of Garuda, Krishna's wife can be seen.

North corner. upper part: Vishnu (the upper part of whose body is missing) rests upon a snake, which lies stretched out in the water (its head also missing). Vishnu’s consort sits at his feet. Lotus blossoms grow from Vishnu's body and apsaras carrying flowers glide around him. In the lower part, nine gods pay homage to him: Suriya on the sun's cha- riot, with the sun behind him, Kuber, the god of prosperity, son of Shiva, rides ona yak, the god Brahma on a goose, hamsa, Skanda rides a peacock; an unknown god ‘s on horseback; Indra rides an elephant, Yama, the god of death, a buffalo; Shiva is mounted on the bull, Nandi; the last god on the right has not been identified.

Northern wing, west corner, upper part: When Rama, the seventh incarna- tion of Vishnu, doubts Sita’s fidelity on her return from Sri Lanka, she submits herself to trial by fire, climbs on the pyre and leaves it again, unharmed. (This panel is badly damaged).

Western wing, over the north corner: the scene shows Rama’s triumphal pro- gress through Ayodhya. He sits en- throned on a richly decorated chariot. This huge vehicle was born of the goose, hamsa, Brahma’s steed. In the lower part of the scene, monkeys accompany the chariot.

South corner, upper part: Sita meets Hanuman, leader of the monkeys, in the forest of Ashoka during her imprison- ment in Sri Lanka. Next to her is a maid- servant with her hair worn in a strange style. Below are Sita’s guards, many with animal heads.

Southern wing, east wall: A scene at the court of King Janaka. Rama returns aS victor, and to his right sit King Janaka and a Brahman with coiled hair. In front of Rama, Sita can be seen dressed in fine clothes, with her hair in three beaids for- ming a coronet on her head.

Angkorian period
Style of Baphuon 1010-1080
Built by: King Udayadityavarman I 1050-1066. Renovated in the post-Ang- korian period, after 1181, by King Jaya- varman VII, 1181-1219.
LOCATION: The southern gate is c. 1 mile (1.5 km) from Angkor Wat

The present day town of Angkor Thom _ the name means Great City — has been built directly on top of the capital of King Udayadityavarman Il. However, most of the buildings, the town wall and its gates date from the reign of Jayavarman VIL. An inscription reads: “The city, adorned by a palace built of precious stones, was taken as a bride by this king, in order to beget the universe.”

The Buddhist Jayavarman VIE built his city as a symbol of the cosmos as it is conceived in the Ramayana, the Indian epic of Vishnu. Surrounded by the ocean, which is symbolized by the large or- namental pools, stands the meru, or mountain of the gods, represented by the Bayon temple in the very center of the city. The temple also recalls an episode of the Ramayana, the churning of the Sea of Milk, which is portrayed in many of Angkor’s buildings. Not only the temple but the whole city is incorporated in this symbolism: outside the city gates, with their backs to the city, sit 27 demons on the right, and 27 gods on the left-hand side, who hold the gigantic serpent across their knees. The body of the snake, wrapped around the Bayon, is held, at its tail, by a stone giant standing at the north gate. There are similar giants at the east and west gates. Their violent heaving 1s supposed to set the Bayon spinning. If you are coming from Angkor Wat, ye reach the “Street of Giants outside the south gate. The same view 1s gained from other directions, except that the other gates are not all in such a good state of repair. Angkor Thom has five gateways: there Is One in the middle of each side, while the fifth, the Victory Gate, stands 1.650 ft (500 m) north of the east gate, the Gate of the Dead. Causeways take the Streets of the Giants across the wide moat sur- rounding the city on all sides. At the end of the streets stand the 66-ft-high (20 m) gates with sculpted faces 10 ft (3 m) high facing the four points of the compass. These giant faces are a “trademark” of Jayavarman VII and can be found on many of his gates and shrines, as well as on the Bayon. The king saw himself as the incarnation of the Bodhisattva Avalo- kiteshvara (in Khmer: Lokiteshvara).

The face of the Bodhisattva has the features of the king as we know them from statues. Is he gazing out in all direc- tions across his land?

Between the stone faces one Can see small female figures, and the god Indra on his three-headed elephant, which is picking lotus flowers with its trunk.

As you walk through the mighty gates, you can see how hurriedly they were thrown up by piling stones on top of each other. On both sides niches have been erected for the gods of the city or for watchmen. From timbers that still remain in the roughhewn stone ceiling, one can tell that it was once lined entirely in wood.

Whoever enters Angkor Thom is fol- lowed by the gaze of the Boddhisattva or the king. The gateways lead through the wall of laterite stone, 26 ft (8 m) high in Places, with which Jayavarman VII hoped to protect his city against attack by the Cham. An earth rampart was banked up against its inner side; along the top of the wall a foot- and bridlepath for the sentries runs for 7 1/2 miles (12 km) right round the city.

If one includes the 330-ft-wide (100 m) moat, Angkor Thom covers an area of three and a half swuare miles (9 sq kms). A large parbof it today ts overgrown with angle and serub, Among the the 82 dif. Fo Foren species of trees there are a number winch have died out in the rest of Cambo- aid The only area that is kept clear is that around the temples and the ruins of the palitee. Whieh all le to the north of the | Bayon. Eoas difficult, standing here, to ov sualize aeity with 100,000 inhabitants, — fiving in thatched or tiled houses, such as the Chinese travellers described. It was surrounded by rice fields which provided them with food, and with reservoirs which imigated the rice paddies and sup- plied the city with drinking water.

*** The Bayon Temple
Post-Angkorian period
Stile of Bavon 1177-1230 ;
Built by: King Jayvavarman VII, 118]- 1219.
LOCATION: In the geographical center of the city of Angkor Thom.

Looking at the Bayon, it is easy to see that the themes and conception of its de- sign were altered several times during its construction. It is possible that it was built on the foundations of an earlier temple. Even before its completion, the two upper terraces were enlarged, mak- ing it necessary to widen the lower levels as well. This must be one of the reasons why some parts of the terraces collapsed. At the time when the Bayon was being built, Shivaitic Hinduism, the idea of the god-king, had lost its meaning. Jayavar- man VII sought to re-establish the endan- gered authority of the throne with the help of Mahayana Buddhism. The Bayon represents a new concept of apotheosis and is an attempt to give it expression. It was to become a “manifestation of the meaning of God.”

The temple-hill is a three-tiered py- ramid with its entrance facing east. The lowest, outer gallery serves at the same time as an enclosing wall. From the inner courtyard rises the pyramid. At its base it measures 525 ft by 460 ft (160 m by 140 m), while the topmost platform. on which the 75 ft (23 m) high central shrine stands, measures 230 ft by 262 ft (70 m by 80 m). In total the pyramid reaches a height of 141 ft (43 m) but the effect is massive rather than tall. It lacks the clear lines of the Angkorian temples and ap- pears simply monumental.

Originally the ground plan was in the shape of a Greek cross, whose outer corner-angles were later closed off by transverse galleries so that, as the build- ing rose up, the plan became an almost perfect square. Above it was built the round central shrine, and radiating out from it, twelve lesser shrines, in a design that was unusual for Angkor. The central structure, and the outer towers and pavi- lions, are crowned by more gigantic faces. Originally there were 54 of these. of which 37 have been preserved. From every tower these faces, each 10-15 ft (3- 4.5 m) high, gaze out to the north, south. east and west. They are all a little differ- ent from one another, yet each is the same face, that of Lokiteshvara with the tea- tures of Jayavarman VII.

In the central shrine was a naga- Buddha, an image of the Buddha often found in Angkorian Buddhism. The En- lightened One sits sunk in deep medita- tion on the coiled body of a snake, which spreads its hood protectively over him. The image is drawn trom a legend in which the Buddha did not notice that a storm had broken and the river had risen over its banks. The snake-king carried him safely over the water.

The walls, pillars and lintels of the upper terrace are richly decorated with apsaras, devas, tendrils and ornaments. They do not attain the delicacy of the re- liefs at Angkor Wat, and in any case it is difficult to concentrate on them because of the great stone faces all around. These are oppressive and rather alarming, though there ts also something reassurine in their smiles, Which seem to come trom a deep Knowledge and wisdom of the ages. EP Angkor Watts an introduction ta the art of the Khmer. then the Bayon iy 4 dialogue with their greatest king,

If vou are approaching trom the south. erm gate. the mighty south front of the Bayon is the first thing you see. The en. trance to the temple leads in trom the east side up to the steps. across a terrace of great paving stones, resting on pillars. The depressions in the ground on either side are believed to have held water. The remains of a laterite stone wall date from a later epoch: unlike all other Khmer temples, the Bayon originally had no wall around it. It is obligatory to walk round the temple in a clockwise direction.

The walls of the lower, double gallery are richly decorated with bas-reliefs, which were not completed during the king's lifetime. In their artistic value they are very inferior to the reliefs of Angkor Wat and other temples: nevertheless they are of great historical significance.

At the Bayon, as elsewhere, the king and his campaigns take pride of place in the scenes depicted on the reliefs. But here the artists seem to have been allow- ed more freedom. On the fringes of the victory parades and palace scenes they show the colorful daily life of the Khmer: market and hunting scenes, contests, games and riverside activities. The ordi- nary people, their clothing and hair styles, weapons and equipment, wagons and houses, are all shown as if in a pic- ture book about the Khmer in the 12th and 13th centuries.

Following the east gallery to the left 1s a portrayal of prisoners shown beneath the victory procession — they are almost certainly Cham. After this come scenes at the palace; birds perch on the roofs and cooks are busy indoors.

Particular care has gone into the ao ing of the reliefs depicting apsaras am gods, on the walls and lintels of the pavi lions interspersed between the galleries, A long relief shows scenes on the river bank. All kinds of water creatures and fish are hanging in the branches of trees — a sight which can still be seen beside the Great Lakes each year, after the floods have receded. The scenes are humorous and animated, and depict intimate situa- uons such as that of a woman about to give birth. Men discuss the proceedings at a cockfight, traders argue with cus- tomers at a market. Fishermen go about their work and a Chinese junk can be seen. A bear-hunt and wrestlers, artists and farmers alternate with palace scenes. Every so often openings in the wall give a view of the central shrine.

***The Baphuon Temple
Angkorian pertod
Style of Baphuon 1010-1080
Built by: King Udayadityavarman II, 1050-1066. Constructed: 1060.
LOCATION: North of Bayon, at the be- ginning of the Great Square in front of the Royal Palace. From the road a stair- case leads to the left (west).

The Baphuon, whose name means “copper tower,” stood at the center of the capital city of Udayadityavarman II. The beauty of the architecture, ornamentation and reliefs of this great, three-tiered py- ramid would, if it had better weathered the centuries, be comparable only to Angkor Wat. The outer walls enclosed a rectangular area of more than 13 acres (5.2 ha).

The Baphuon was, however, the most poorly constructed of all the temples in Angkor. This Is not helped by the prac tice, common in the 11th century. of in sertingg supporting timbers into the ma sonry. Some of these can still be seen. The gilded copper sheeting weighed heavily on the roof of the main tower, which was probably built, not of sand- stone, but of some lighter material, so that soon after completion the upper level collapsed and the lower ones began to crack. Penetration by damp completed the work of destruction. The temple was repaired a number of times but never fully rebuilt. In 1958 restoration work was resumed, but was halted prematurely because of the difficult political situation at that time. What remains today is essen- tially the result of those efforts. At the end of the 1980s the area was cleared of trees and undergrowth.

From the ruins it is possible to tell how imposing the dimensions must have been. The temple-hill must have bee more than 164 {t (50 m) high: even today the ruin is sul 80 ft (24 my) high. The main entrance in the cast 1s reached by steps from the street that runs north and south. Behind the gateway 1s a path 660 ft (200 m) long leading to the temple-hill. Some way along the path is a building on a cruciform ground plan, but all that is left of it are the remains of walls.

The first tier of the pyramid, 13 ft (4m) high and measuring 394 ft by 328 ft (120 m by 100 m) at its base, once sup- ported a gallery, of which nothing now remains except the entrance pavilions. The gates and pavilions of the Baphuon have large vestibules.

In more recent times monks attempted to use the stones of the gallery to make a large reclining Buddha on the west side of the second storey, but only hints of this remain.

The second tier has two ledges, each 14 ft (4.3 m) high, and can be climbed from all four sides. On the south side the height of the steps has been halved by the gidaion at intermedivte concrete steps © Phe second stores surounded by vt na : @ye gaiiery. which as punctuated by P qgreers at its CurmcTS and nud points : fhe vemple was dedicated to) Shiva. : ace Udayadity ax arman TE was a devout @eiveist. But in its relics many routs fom the Vishnu epics cain he seen The gabieffs are set Like pretures in rectangular frames. placed next to and above cach ether, with decoralive geometne or bot. emical borders. The themes are taken from the Ramayana and Mahabharata epics and Buddhist legends, and show either single persons or little scenes. They display sharp observation and a sense of humor, and make a lively and earthy impression. The individual sub- jects, set off against a plain background. ase of great beauty. Typical of these are the framed animal heads. some of which have been preserved at the entrance to the first terrace. The ornamentation ts with- out doubt the most perfect in Khmer art.

**The Royal City
LOCATION: The north-south road through Angkor Thom, Javavarman VII's processional route, leads across the Great Square, the central point of the city which was the capital of Rajendravar- man II, 944-968, Udayadityavarman I, 1050-1080, and of Jayavarman VII, 1181-1219.

The Great Square is bounded in the east by the 12 towers of Prasat Suor Sat aad the North and South Khleangs be- hind them. To the west of the Great Square lie the Royal terraces, and behind them the Royal Palace. It is encircled by a double rampart of laterite, which stretches 1,980 feet (600 m) from east to west and 990 ft (300 m) from north to south. The inner well-preserved rampart is as much as 20 ft (6 m) high in places. Between the ram- parts are the remains of water channels.

The palace grounds

There are two gates each on the north and south sides leading into the palace grounds. Between the two northern gates there is a further small entrance. The northern gates connect the first and sev- ond courtyards of the palace with the Terrace of the Leper-King and the temples of Tep Pranam and Preah Pali- lay. The southern gates lead from the courtyards into the grounds of the Ba- phuon temple. The main entrance to the east has two side gates and is on the same level as the Terrace of the Elephants. Above the outer central gate of the ves- tibule there are fine decorated lintels. The inscriptions onits walls contain the oaths sworn by the court officials, servants and vassals of King Suriyavarman II.

The third courtyard, 500 ft (150 m) long, is divided into two, so that there are actually five courtyards in total. In these last two courtyards were the working quarters of the royal household, and also the rooms where the royal family lived, and the quarters of the queen and and the king’s other wives; these have pools with steps leading down to them.

The final courtyard has no separate exit. On a small terrace, panels decorated with elephants have been preserved.

*** Terrace of the Elephants
Built by: King Jayavarman VII, at the end of his reign, early 13th century.
LOCATION: West of the north-south street, on the Great Square.

To the cast (ne palace prounds are bounded, not by an outer rampart, but by a terrace 1.140 ft by 45 ft (350 m by 14 m). Here. according to descriptions by 13th-century Chinese travellers, stood pavilions built from a Material that has not survived. From this vantage point, the royal family could watch processions, parades and games on the Great Square. An audience or council chamber is also described, with mirrors and gilt window frames.

The terrace has three platforms of dif- ferent heights, to which five flights of steps lead up; the northern one was prob- ably built later than the others. The ter- race takes its name from the outstanding depiction of elephants and of an elephant hunt, which takes up the major part of the frieze.

Alternating with the elephants, how- ever, garudas and lions can be seen. The five-headed horse, Balacha, an incarna- tion of the Bodhisattva Lokitesvara, 1s represented on the north frontage, as are gladiators, artists and polo players.

*** Terrace of the Leper-King
Built by: King Jayavarman VII at the end of his reign, early 13th century.
LOCATION; On the Great Square, north of the Terrace of the Elephants.

There is no path connecting the two terraces. This one owes its name to a sculpture which used to stand here. Itwas of King Yasovarman, 899-910, who orig- inally founded Angkor and was popu- larly known as the “Leper-King™’ because he died of leprosy. This statue is now in the National Museum in Phnom Penh. and in fact does not represent a king in his regalia, but, very unusually in Khmer art, a seated, naked ascetic, perhaps an in- carnation of Shiva.

This terrace, like the other one, served as the foundation for a lightly constructed pavilion. The suggestion that it was where high-ranking officials were cre- mated is not correct; this would not have been done in such a prominent place.

The bas-reliefs, in six or seven fers, show kings, sword in hand, surrounded by their retainers. The lower tiers are dec- orated with nagas and fish. The terrace appears to have ended at a lake which was a continuation of the Great Square, but which was filled in by Jayavarman VII in order to build the processional av- enue. The palace scenes and shoals of fish on the friezes are similar to those on the reliefs at the Bayon and are among the most beautiful works of Khmer art.

** Phimeanakas
Angkorian, post-Angkorian periods.
Style of Khleang 978-1010 and style of Baphuon 1010-1080.
Dates: Begun by Jayavarman V, 968- 1001, completed by Udayadityavarman IT, 1050-1066.
LOCATION:In the center of the second courtyard of the royal palace. Can be reached through the east gate of the pa- lace.

The base of the three-terraced pyramid measures 115 ft by 92 ft (35m by 28m). The height of the three tiers decreases: the lowest is 15 ft (4.6m) high, the second 13 ft (4m) and the top one 11 ft (3.4m).

On the top tier there once stood a small building with a cruciform ground plan, and four entrances facing the points of the compass, but none of it has survived. However, it explains the name of the temple, which means “celestial palace.” It is said that the tower had a golden roof.

The total height of the pyramid, with- out this added building is only 40 ft (12 m), but the stairways going steeply up each side make it look much higher. The corners of each terrace are decorated with lions and elephants. The final tier is surrounded by a gallery only 3 ft (1 m) wide, built of sandstone, with baluster windows and small corner towers, which give it great elegance.

According to legend, here the king met the snake-queen in the form of a beautiful woman. Their union created wisdom, which assured the prosperity of the land.

*Tep Pranam
Angkorian period.
Built by: King Yasovarman I, late Yth century.
LOCATION: Through the north exit of the first or second courtyard of the roval palace or beyond the Terrace of the Leper-King beside a narrow path going west.

On the terrace, which measures 27081 by 110 ft (82m by 34 m) there is a 13-ft- high (4m) seated Buddha. An inscription states that a monastery was once here. A wooden pagoda also stood on the site. Around the terrace remains of burial stupas can still be seen, and a standing Buddha has been reassembled from frag- ments; only the face is missing.

A little further to the west is a dried-up lake whose northern bank was lined with sandstone blocks.

*Preah Palilay
Angkorian period. ) Built in the mid-12th century. Renovated by Jayavarman VI.
LOCATION: East of Tep Pranam.

A path leads west from Tep Pranam to a laterite rampart enclosing Palilay, in an area 55 yds square (50 m by 50 m). In front of the tower shrine are two adjacent terraces of different heights. Stone sen- tries and lions guard the east stairway.

The main attraction of the site is the naga balustrade, one of the few that remain in good condition.

The small pavilion through which the shrine is reached has three passageways. The shrine has unusual decoration and its odd outline resembles a chimney.

The lintels over the east and west doors are very beautifully decorated. The fig- urative ornamentation 1s drawn from

Hindu and Buddhist iconography. As one enters the shrine one can still see some | large wooden beams that were used as door hinges.


*The Prasat Suor Prat Probably built by Jayavarman VII at the beginning of the 13th century. Twelve small towers built of laterite stand facing the the Terrace of the Ele- phants, at the edge of the jungle on the east side of the Great Square. They are often described as pavilions for the dancers who entertained the king and his household. To the local people, however, they were known as Prasat Suor Sat, “the towers of the ti ghtrope-walkers,” because the performers stretched their high wires between them. However, a Chinese trav- eller stated that they were places where justice was dispensed.

They stand on a north-south line, equidistant from each other. They are two storeys high, each with two gables but no staircases. Altars and images of gods sug- palace, and they once had terraces in front of them, though these are no longer recognizable. Terraces and courtyards, with buildings and galleries, also lay to the east of the Khleangs. In the courtyard to the east of the North Khleang a small shrine has been preserved, with its lower walls decorated and friezes embellished with figures. Of the buildings of the South Khleang there are only ruins to be seen. Altars with a /inga and figures were found in both the Khleangs. The Budd- hist relics date from a later period.

The North Khleang is better preserved. Both Khleangs have porches built on the east and west fronts and galleries at the side. Laterite and sandstone were used in their construction. The stones have been carefully laid on top of each other, and the interior is paved with sandstone.

The side galleries were roofed in wood. The facades are richly decorated without being overly ornate. A similarity can be noticed between the entrance pa- vilions and those at the temple pyramid of Ta Keo.

From the North Khlenag a narrow footpath brings you to Preah Pithu.

*Preah Pithu

Angkorian period.
Style of Angkor Wat
Built by: A successor of Suriyavarman I
LOCATION: On the high ground where Tep Pranam and Preah Palilay are sited, but east of the north-south road; or Reached by the footpath from the North mhleang.

The five small shrines are scattered in a Sendom fashion over rough terrain and Sie badly damaged. If they were still in- am: all five shrines of the Pithu group Beata be real gems of Khmer art. Risond the North Khicang and to the Saris a small shrine surrounded by a rampart of Sandstone; there are two e. ance pavilions on the east and sides. There is a terrace on two le . with a beautiful naga-balustrade comparable to the one at Preah Palilay. T decoration on the pyramid-shaped i i" of the shrine is especially remarkah\, The churning of the Sea of Milk is show: several times, and devatas (tevodas) em bellish the corners of the walls.

To the east of the first shrine is a smal. ler, badly damaged one on a single-tiercq base. Surrounded by a rampart, it has richly decorated walls. Two stone sen- tries have fallen from their pedestals by the western entrance. On the west wall are several depictions of the four-armed Shiva dancing. Each temple is_ sur- rounded by a small artificial pond.

To the east a path leads between the ponds to a third shrine on a simple 12-ft- high (3.6 m) platform, with a surface area of 13,000 sq. ft (1,225 sq. m). The interior resembles a monk’s cell and is decorated with Buddhas. To the east of the temple on a raised laterite embankment, is a ter- race which is reached by a flight of sand- stone steps, flanked by stone sentries and nagas.

Only traces of a temple are still recog- nizable here. Certain characteristics of the statues of Buddha seem to suggest to the trained eye, that the building must have been restored during the Siamese occupation. About 60 ft from the steps are two small stone elephants, 5 ftd.5m) high.

The fourth shrine lies to the north on 4 two-tiered base with ornate friezes. The building itself is simple, and the entrance porches were added at a later date. From a few lintels that were left unfinished 16 possible to observe the working methods of the Khmer sculptors. A surrounding wall stretches almost as far as the Great ircuit.

The fifth shrine is situated further north and differs from the other four being more like the buildings which are described as the lodgings prov; sivavarman for pilgrims. such se by sound on the sites of his great mo one cries. They are square, tower-like build. Ings. each with a long room built on to the front. In this case, the two parts are linked by a narrow passageway. The eautiful bas-relief on the building show religious scenes.


**Thommanon and Chay Say Tevoda
Angkorian period
Style of Angkor Wat 1100-1175
Built by: King Suriyavarman ITI, 1113- 1150
LOCATION: The Little Circuit begins at the triumphal gate of Angkor Thom. After about I 1/4 miles (2 km) Thommanon is found on the left, and Chau Say Tevoda opposite on the right hand side of the road.

It is thought that both shrines were built at the same time, and that the archi- tect tried to create or to try out different effects by means of small variations in the design and decoratic . shrine. ° m OF the main

Thommanon, the shrine to Vishny is surrounded by a rampart of which the east and west gateways still survive. It consists of a tower shrine with three false doors and large porticoes. The fourth portal leads from the east side through a portico into the large interior. The width of the building from east to west is 72 f (22 m) The tower, with plain pilasters at its corners, contrasts with the side Wings which are decorated with continuous friezes all the way round. In Chau Say this concept is modified. The lintels, friezes and pilasters are richly decorated with scenes from the Vishnu epics, espe- cially the Ramayana.

Opposite is Chau Say, set some 100 ft (30 m) back from the road, and said to date from 1160. The main shrine with its four wings and central space, stands on a large plinth and faces east. It differs from Thommanon in that the temple tower 1s linked as single entity, with the wide wings, by ledges running round it which have the same decorative motifs. In this it resembles the towers of Angkor Wat. The side wings have baluster windows. and the decoration gives the impression that the building has several storeys. How- ever, the upper part of the tower was never completed.

The porch running from east to west has four doors and four false windows. The eastern end connects it with the main tower, whose walls also have balustered false windows.

The main buildings, surrounded by two libraries and gates, are linked by ter- races with naga-balustrades.

Chau Say is a shrine to Shiva in which lingas and sculptures of Nandi have been found. The ornamentation is, however, taken mainly from the Vishnu legends.

**Spean Thma. About 2,300 ft (700 m) east of the triumphal gate, close to the road, there is one bridge of sandstone still standing: all the others being built of la- terite. It is decorated with a naga-balus- trade.

**Ta Keo
Angkorian period
Begun by Jayavarman in the stvle of Khleang, in 965-1010. Construction con- tinued in the reign of Surivavarman, in the the style of Angkor Wat, vet still seems to have been left unfinished.
LOCATION: On the Little Circuit, about half a mile (Ikm) beyond the Thomma- non.

It may have been the great size of this impressive building, or the materials used in its construction, which prevented work on it ever being completed. The five-tiered pyramid has a unique place among Khmer buildings since it has nothing to show in the way of decorative reliefs or sculptures. That has given rise to the mistaken belief that it was stripped of its decoration by the Cham, or even that it was used for human sacrifice.

The enormous blocks of very hard sandstone that were used in Ta Keo were difficult to work. The outline of the temple looks plain, even bald. There is nothing to distract the eye from the clear lines of the architecture, or from the ef- fect of its impressive proportions. The structure, when completed, was to have reached a height of about 165 ft (50m).

Five tiers serve as the base for the cen- tral shrine, which was surrounded by four smaller towers.

The first terrace, 7 ft (2.2 m) high, has a base measuring 328 ft (100 m) from east to west and 400 ft (120 m) from north to south. Pavilions aligned on these axes lead to the inner courtyard, from which further terraces rise.

On the east side of the courtyard stand two small, ruined buildings which are generally considered to have been li- braries, treasure chambers, OF possibly lodgings for pilgrims.

The second terrace, on a plinth 18 ft (5.5 m) high, and measuring 262 ft by 946 ft (80 m by 70 m) at its base, 1s sur- rounded by a gallery which is punctuated by pavilions alon its length. _ platform, 154 ft 7 m) cquare na rounded at its foot by four pavilions h. three bases with heights of 19 ft. 15 ft 12 ft (5.8 m, 4.5 m and 3.6 m). me bring the total height, including ih towers, to 72 ft (22 m). . There are examples of lovely ornamen. _ tation 40 ft (12 m) up on the east facade which were sculpted from the top down, wards, and on the friezes around the sec. ond tier. Inscriptions tell us that Ta Keg was built as a temple to Shiva, and there have been finds of Jingas and statue of Nandi. As in other temples, the statues of the Buddha date from a later period when monks lived in Angkor. One in- scription gives details of a hospital which was located near the temple.

From the topmost terrace the hills of Phnom Kulen can be seen far way to the northeast.

*Prasat Ta Nei
Post-Angkorian period
Style of Bayon | 177-1230
Built by: Jayavarman VII at the beginning of the 12th century.
LOCATION: 3,000 ft (900 m ) east of Taur Keo, reached by a footpath.

The method of construction using a mixture of materials, laterite and sand- stone, is typical. The main Buddhist shrine lies some way to the west 10 ; ‘nd courtyard measuring | 18 ft by 115 ft Cr are moby 35m). The gateway behind tt leone li- to the galleries which surround a bly temple. About 770 ft (80 m) further ane the east gate, with a representation 0 8 ft Bodhisattva Lokiteshvara.

*** Ta Prohm
dated Post-Angkorian period
Style of Bayon 1177-1230
Built by: King Jayavarman
Date of construction: ll86 Jayavarman VII had the monastery built as a residence for his mother, who had been deified as Prajnaparamita. Ta Prohm looks rather like a smaller version of Angor Thom.

The laterite rampart encloses a large space with an area of 175 acres (73 ha). At the west gateway there is a towering Stone face, like those to be seen at the gates of Angkor Thom and at the Bayon, In an excellent state of preserva-tion. The dvarapala, guardian figures, the guruda and naga balustrade, on the other hand, are badly damaged. A path paved with sandstone leads across the Outer moat to the second rampart and its entrance pavi- lion which is not well preserved. The main shrine is in the center, surrounded by dense green jungle, into which light filters through the branches of tall trees.

A 12th century inscription carved in a Stone post tells of the king’s victories over the Cham and describes life in Ta Prohm. It appears that the monastery and the queen mother’s household comprised 18 chief bonzes and 2740 monks, as well as 2232 other residents, including 615 dancers. Altogether 66,625 men and women from the surrounding villages worked in the service of the monastery.

You have to walk about 1/4 mile (400 m) into the jungle on a marked path, to reach the balustrade around the inner moat and the laterite rampart behind it, which encloses the inner temple area. The entrance building consists of 4 large hall with three cloisters, and nearby there is another with square columns. Beside the rampart there are about 100 monks’ cells with porticos of laterite. The path leads into a large courtyard whose walls are decorated with false gates.

The temple, which measures 476 ft by 410 ft (145 m by 125 m),isa labyrinth of passages, galleries and halls, made even more confusing by the jungle vegetation forcing its way in from all sides. The path is marked to help one avoid places where the building is crumbling.

After making one’s way through small courtyards and galleries one reaches the main shrine, which rises out of a court- yard 80 ft (24 m) square. It is in a very ruined state. The tower has no decora- tion, but might once have been covered in metal sheathing.

The older parts of Ta Prohm display ! careful workmanship and a variety ot OF. namentation; dancing apsaras are almost as common as at Angkor Wat. The later parts are carelessly executed in the man. ner typical of the end of Jayavarman , reign. They show the haste with which he urged the completion of his numerous building projects. Ta Prohm was built as a Monastery for a large number of people, not as a place for worshipping the gods or god-kings, ay were the temples of the Angkor period. This explains the completely difterent design. Around the main building there are many small pavilions, cells and shrines, as well as houses for accommo- dating pilgrims. The marked footpath leads on to the east gate, which has lost its giant stone face.

**Banteay Kdei
Post-Angkorian period
Style of Bayon 1177-1230
Built by: Jayavarman VIL, 1181-1219
Date of construction: 1181
LOCATION: From the east gate of Ta Prohm return to the Little Circuit. Cross. this and you come to the west gate of ' Banteay Kdei.

Banteay Kdei is similar to Ta Prohm in its overall conception, sO that it could be given a miss if time is short; but it does have the advantage of being less confus- ing and also there is a greater unity in the way the sculptures are executed. Most importantly, it has largely been cleared of vegetation.

Jayavarman VII had it built for his tu: tors, as the first of three great monasti¢ sites in Angkor. The outer of the two ramparts measures 2,300 ft by 1,650 ft (700 m by 500 m), and the the entrance gateways are flanked by giant ston faces. A short path brings you t0 the ind temple complex, which is 1,050 ft by 9 i ft (320 m by 300 m). The main temple 207 ft by 164 ft (63 m by 50 m).

In two small buildings in the northesast : and southeast courtyards there are some Statues of a kind rarely found in A nekor: carefully sculpted female deities, “One leaves Banteay Kdei by: its Cast gute, where there is a wel l-preserved varuda.

*Srah Srang
LOCATION: Opposite the east gate of Banteay Kdei.

The small artificial lake was probably created at the same time as Banteay Kdei. Brick steps lead down to the the water, which covers 80 acres (32 ha). To the west it must have been linked to Banteay Kdei by a terrace, on which stood pavi- lions built of some impermanent ma- terial. In the middle of the lake, a heap of Stones is all that remains of a former building.

The lake is locally known as the King’s Bath or Monk’s Bath. In its set- ting of green, it presents a delightful pan- Orama, especially in the soft light of the evening sun.

**Prasat Kravanh
Anekorian Period
Stvle of Koh K er, 921-944
Built by a court Official around 92].
LOCATION: Between the 7th and Sth ki- lometer Stones on the Little Circuit. I; is inaccessible during the rainy season.

Prasat Kravanh, a shrine to Vishnu, is One of the last large brick buildings in Angkor and still belongs to the artistic trend that began in the reign of Indravar- man. It has reliefs carved directly into the walls, and signs of having been com- pletely painted inside. It consists of five large, windowless tower-shrines Standing side by side. The sandstone door frames are decorated with foliage and small fig- ures of riders.

Tower shrines of the Indravarman period are not usually decorated inside, but Kravanh is an exception as its central tower has reliefs carved directly on to the interior stonework. These can be seen at their best when the evening sun slants into the inner rooms.


**Preah Khan
Post-Angkorian period
Style of Bayon, 1177-1230
Built by: Jayavarman VI, 1181-1219
Date of construction: 119]
LOCATION. The Great Circuit begins at the north gate of Angkor Thom. The outer moat of the Temple of Preah Khan is about 900 ft (250 m) north of the moat round Angkor Thom. From the north en- trance of the temple a footpath leads along beside the temple to the east en- france,

The third of Jayavarman’s monasteries was built for his father and is called Preah Khan, “Holy Sword,” after the protective symbol of Cambodia. The site 1s one of the largest temple compounds in Angkor and is defended by four concentric walls. To the south and east the site 1s bounded by the now dry Eastern Baray, a reser- voir, in the middle of which stands the temple of Preah Neak Pean. The design of the building is similar to that of Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdei. However, the entrances do not have those great stone faces. From the east and west, roads flanked by stone pillars lead to the temple. The first rampart has outer dimensions of 2,700 ft by 2,295 ft (800m by 700 m) and is surrounded by a wide moat, once guarded by garudas, 23f (7 m) high. On all four sides, a “Street of Giants,” as in Angkor Thom, leads actos* the moat.

The entrance pavilion in the outer ram- part has three passages. each with a ta- — ¢ pering tower decorated with a double | crest of lotus leaves. The middle entrance was for elephants. Only the two side en- trances have porticoes and vestibules, in which idols might once have stood. Within the walls a path leads through the jungle to a terrace decorated with snakes and lions, in front of the inner temple. The rampart around the central shrine is 570 ft (175 m) wide and 660 ft (200 m) long. On each side there are entrance pa- vilions with ornate porticoes. However, the second, higher rampart of laterite is entered through plain doors. It is 270ft long and 320 ft long (83 m by 90 m) and was once surmounted by a gal- lery, but this has not survived. The main shrine and its adjoining buildings are richly decorated. The lintels, bas-reliefs, pediments, friezes and panels are all adorned with Buddhist motifs and scenes from the Hindu epics with goddesses. dancers and a wealth of other detail.

The paths are littered with blocks of stone from the ruined monuments, and with the dense undergrowth the going can be difficult. It is advisable to return to the east entrance.

**Neak Pean
Post-Angkorian period of Bayon, 117-1230
Built by: King Jayavarman VII
LOCATION: Near the 6th kilometer stone on the Great Circuit, the road crosses the dyke of the Eastern Baray and turns southward.

Standing in the middle of the Eastern Baray is a square platform, measuring 1,140 ft (350 m) on each side, with flights of steps up each side. Only one of the sandstone elephants guarding them, on the northwest corner, still survives. On two sides the Great Circuit runs along the top of the dykes. Inside the walls of the shrine there were once several artificial lakes. Only one remains, surrounded by four pools 80 ft (25 m) wide, to which brick steps descend.

The four outer pools were linked to the middle one by small pavilions built up from the bottom of the pools. Their vaulted roofs were at the same level as a paved footpath running round the central pool, which is 230 ft (70 m) square. It served as 4 walkway around the shrine, which was consecrated to the Bodhi- sattva Lokiteshvara.

In the middle of the central pool stands a small sandstone temple on a round plat- form 46 ft (14 m) in diameter. Writhing around the base of the plat- form are two coiled nagas. whose heads and torsos rear up towards the east en- trance while their tails cur! Vertically to- wards the west entrance. The name Neak Pean means “coiled snakes.”

The temple symbolized Lake Anava- tapta in the Himalayas, in which the four great rivers which give the world the sacred and lifegiving benison of water, are said to have their source.

Neak Pean has lost its prasat, which rose up from a lotus-shaped base. Trees and plants have invaded the site. The re- liefs are difficult to make out and the pools are only filled with water at the end of the rainy season. Nevertheless, it has retained much of its charm.

**Ta Som
Post-Angkorian period
Bayon style, 1177-1230
Built by: Jayavarman VI, 1181-1219
LOCATION: Near the 8th_ kilometer stone on the Great Circutt.

Above the west entrance gate is a giant stone face. The outer wall is 660 ft by 780 ft (200 m by 240 m). The architecture and reliefs are similar to those of Banteay Kdei and Ta Prohm. The trees and bushes on the temple site have been left largely undisturbed.

**Rastern Mebon
Angkorian period
Style of Pre Rup, 947-965
Built by: Rajendravarman II, 944-968
Date of construction: 945
LOCATION: On the Great Circuit, be tween the 10th and 11th kilometer stonéS: in the dried-up Eastern Baray. Inat-, cessible during the rainy season. The temple stands On What was once an island mn the Eastern Baray, and was built by Rajendrvarman I as a shrine to his ancestors.

The square platform has sides of 425 ft (130 m) and ts IT ft (3.4 m) high. At its four corners stand elephants, delicately carved in sandstone, with bells round their necks. Other well-preserved stone elephants can be found on the east side.

In general style, the temple belongs to the Indravarman epoch which began with the Bakong temple at Roluos. In the en- trance pavilion of the outer wall there is an inscription, which praises King Rajendravarman II and states that he had cight /ingas put up, as well as statues of Vishnu and Brahma.

In the courtyard lie the ruins of small laterite shrines, which had porches. Pavi- lions provide access through the inner wall, and the terrace is surrounded by small brick buildings. The elephants at each corner are not so well preserved. The top platform is 105 ft (32 m) square and supports the central shrine. The upper structure resembles the pyramid of Ta Keo, the central tower being sur- rounded by four smaller ones. However, ne ea brick Bives a greater effect of warmth and the sandstone settings are very carefully worked. Holes in the brickwork are a clue that the walls were Once decorated with stucco.

**Pre Rup
Angkorian period
Style of Pre Rup, 947-965
Built by: Rajendravarman II, 944-968
Date of construction: 961
LOCATION: Near the 12th kilometer stone on the Great Circuit. Inaccessible during the rainy season.

This is a three-tiered temple-hill sur- mounted by a principal shrine around which four prasats are arranged symme- trically. It faces west and was built by King Rajendravarman Il as his mauso- leum, and a shrine where he would be worshipped after his death. The temple pyramid is similar to the nearby Eastern Mebon, though its function as a mauso- leum gives it some unusual features. The pyramid is 164 ft (50 m) square at its base, and its top terrace is 115 ft (35 m) square. The five tower-shrines are built of brick. Stone lions guard the stair- ways, and small shrines stand on the (wo terraces. Around the lower terrace, the stone gallery with wooden beams and a tiled roof, is a new addition. It is intended to look like the wooden gallery that was there before.

The stone sarcophagus of the king is on the second terrace, and in front of it stands a lingam. A stele on the left tells the history of the building of the temple. The small building in the southwest cor- ner of the terrace is where the bones of the king were kept; his ashes were con- tained in a golden urn in the main tower.

***Banteay Srei
Angkorian period
Style of Banteay Srei 965-1000
Built by: the Brahman Vajnavaraha, of royal descent, tutor of kings Rajend- ravarman II and Jayavarman V.
Date of construction: 967
LOCATION: 12 miles ( 20 km) northeast of Angkor Thom

Banteay Srei is a traditional local name and means “Citadel of Women.” This temple to Shiva used to be called Tribhu- yana Mahesvara, and stood in Isvarapura. the city of Shiva. Like all non-royal temples Banteay Srei is a small shrine and was built by the Brahman on property which had been granted to him by the king.

To the east and west, moats were dug in front of the double rampart around the temple. A gatehouse gives a foretaste of the perfection that awaits the visitor: the harmonious design and the beauty and richness of the decoration.

In the center of the inner courtyard three tower-shrines with porches stand upon a single plinth. They are built of glowing pink sandstone and the effect of this color contributes to the enchanting impression that the temple makes. Two libraries and several long halls fit into the relatively confined space.

Lavish decoration covers walls and lin- tels, pediments and friezes, though no motif is ever repeated. The stairways are flanked by guardian figures with animal heads, which appear to be those of liens “and monkeys.

Features that are especially beautiful are the triangular pediments. Which have been adopted from the Koh Ker style, and the tympanums filled with foliage. The lintels over the doors are among the most beautiful in Khmer art. One can see the successful combination of older styles with new ideas, appearing here for the first time.

It is easy to Overlook the elegant sim- plicity of the ground plan and design. so absorbed is one by the wealth of detail. Shiva is frequently represented, and there are many variations on themes from the Krishna and Vishnu legends. It is diffi- cult to describe the countless graceful goddesses and dancing girls who adorn the walls.

Banteay Srei with its interplay of form and color cannot be compared with the ‘Monuments of the classical Khmer period but it is the supreme achievement of a charming artistic imagination.