Doorways, pillars, and corridors of Angkor Wat

P1150691

All five towers that make up Angkor Wat, meant to represent mountains.

P1150922

A view of one side of the Angkor Wat complex, taken from the spot where the Khmer King addressed his people below.

Angkor Wat (which means City of Temples) is a temple complex located near Siem Reap, Cambodia, built by the king of the Khmer Empire in the 12th century. It is considered a world heritage site and attracts millions of tourists a year. Wikipedia states that it’s the largest religious complex in the world–the temple itself is massive but the entire area has 2.2 miles of wall around it. The complex even has a moat around it! Amazing, the whole thing. It was originally built as a Hindu temple but was then converted to a Buddhist temple. According to a Cambodian tourism website: “Angkor Wat is a miniature replica of the universe in stone and represents an earthly model of the cosmic world. The central tower rises from the center of the monument symbolizing the mythical mountain, Meru, situated at the center of the universe. Its five towers correspond to the peaks of Meru. The outer wall corresponds to the mountains at the edge of the world, and the surrounding moat the oceans beyond.” It has been damaged by war enemies, treasure hunters, and during the civil war in Cambodia in then 1960’s and 1970’s and fighting that lasted into the 1990’s.

This is my second trip here (very lucky!). This time, I was just fascinated with the pillars and corridors. Every pillar in Angkor Wat has an elaborate carving. Beyond that, I can’t exactly quantify what amazed me about it. I think how perfectly they were aligned contrasted with the erosion of the sandstone over time. Then adding in light and shadow, it was just fascinating. My poor friends and brother, they were like, “Sarah, there’s another door for you.”

There are almost 1800 detailed carvings of the dancing girls (Apsara) throughout Angkor Wat.

P1150821

It took some patience to get a few of these shots (lots of other tourists), but I got a few that I wanted to share.

P1150902 P1150927 P1150957P1150749

P1150895P1150943

P1150928

Advertisements

4 comments

  1. Geoffrey · July 19, 2014

    So cool! Now I want to go to Cambodia even more.

    Like

    • sjoycarlson · July 20, 2014

      So the ticket here is not cheap but once you get here…. We’re staying at a nice hotel for $20 a night, meals are like $3 (and we could get cheaper), and you can get beers for like $.50!! You can get tuk tuk (um… We’ll call them unique taxis) there and back for 4 people for like $6. And it is amazing!!

      Like

  2. Erica Judd · July 20, 2014

    It looks like such an amazing place! Great photos. 🙂

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s