02 July, 2008

Angkor Wat

. 02 July, 2008

Angkor Wat is one of the ten wonders of the world. This is the largest palace complex within the area of Angkor Archaeological Parks, surrounded by moats. It expressed climax of a great empire and it was only be able to be built because of vast resources of money and manpower. The monarch of that empire when it was built was Suryavarman II.

The entrance gateway

This is the last plcae I visited in Siem Reap on the 13 April 2008. The weather was cloudy, and when we arrived there, it rained. Thus, some of us decided not to continue the tour and stayed at the car, while the rest went to the main gate to take shelter from the rain.

The scene at the righthand side of the frontyard

People praying at one of the palace entrance.

After waiting for a moment, the rain stopped, and we carry on get into the palace area. As we started from the main gate, we still have to walk some hundreds meters in order to reach the main building. The mildewed walls describe that these temples were built hundred years ago. I was so amazed to see how great this building. The monuments are tremendous. I can’t imaginehow the people of centuries ago with their technology was able to built such a strong building, and how those craftsmen and builders transported and lifted up such big stones while climbing up the hill.

Wide causeways

We could enter the complex through either the west or the east entrance to get to the entry tower. After walking through the widecauseways, we climbed the steps to reach the second level.

The towering temples

To get the third level where the central courtyard within we need to climb the steps oriented towards either of the four central points. We could not reach the highest monument or so-called gopura, the main building where Suryavarman II used to stay and governed the nation from, because the steps were being restored and were closed to public. Even if we are allowed to climb the steps, it seems we were not brave enough to climb up this last steps as a climax. The stone steps are tarnished by the age, sharply sloping and the foot path is so blunt and narrow. Moreover, the rain makes them slippery.

The stairs to reach one of the 5 towering temples

Relief describing the battle of Kurusetra

To get out of the complex we passed through the west exit way . The walls along the corridor are crafted with the relief represent a concluding episode of Mahabharata, a renowned Indian epic tale.

Miniatur of Angkor Wat at the Royal Palace - Phnom Penh

The whole complex of Angkor Wat is very large but lack of direction signs and explanation at each crossways as well as at each crosscorridors. It takes a full day if we want to visit each part of the complex. When we were there, unfortunately some of the passageways were closed to public due to restoration works. We had just visited about half of the complex area, limited by that restoration works being hold and of course by rain. However, the main part we have visited was sufficient to represent the whole complex.


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Burma vacation said...

Go to Myanmar, you may drop by Shwedagon, especially, if you visit this famous Pagoda in March, you can have a chance to be a part of the festival of the Golden Shwedagon Paya. This festival is a famous Burma vacation and the largest festival of Buddhists. They hold the festival one week before the full moon day of Tabaung month. The Shwedagon Paya is the festival which attracts the most number of pilgrims to visit. at the time of the festival, the monks in the Paya read bible during the day without interruption, and the flow of the pilgrims come to meet the Buddha.

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