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Cambodia Day 3 – Angkor Wat

The third day of the trip would start with a visit to prasat kraven which is again a temple dedicated to vishnu, The temple is under renovation with co-operation from the Govt of germany.

The temple does not contain many carvings as other temples, however the sanctum sanctorum contains the idol of vishnu.

Prasat kraven

IMG_5531_resizeAs the temple is under renovation, the image of vishnu is not fully visible. The temple contains two chambers on the ether side of the sanctum sanctorum and the right chambers contains statue of lakshmi and her assistants.

Vishnu and Lakshmi

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The next stop was Bantaey samrei a temple dedicated to shiva. The carvings here are damaged and the guide explained during the khmer rouge time many of the carvings were illegally exported to thailand.

Banteay Samrei

IMG_5536_resizeThe temple has various libraries situated in the interior of the temple. These libraries used to be used for religious purposes.

Libraries of Banteay Sameri

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 The interior of the temple has a linga and a huge courtyard. The back end of the temple contains statues of two liones whose backside is shown to us. Clicking few photos there we moved to the next temple Banteay Srei

Lions at back entrance

IMG_5565_resizebanteay Srei the next temple in the list is also a important temple as it was built during the construction of other important monuments such as the Notre Dame Castle and the chichen itiza in mexico

Banteay Srei Construction

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The temple is dedicated to lord shiva. The temple also has carvings dedicated to lord vishnu in his narashimha avatar.

Narasimha

IMG_5573_resizeThe temple has some ancient writings written in pali language. As with other temples there are various libraries within the temple

Ancient Inscriptions

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Banteay Srei Libraries

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 Among the other carvings in the temple there is one carving from Ramayana depicting the battle between vali and sugreeva. The caving shows Rama shooting and arrow killing vali.

Battle between vali and sugreeva

IMG_5606_resizeThe outer portion of the temple was being enclosed by a wall and once a get a full view of the temple. We took several photos before heading to Banteay Kdei.

Banteay Srei

IMG_5622_resizeBanteay Kdei is a temple that is constructed in bayon style. The entrance of the temple has 4 headed buddha which is same as the one present in Angkor Thom

Banteay Kdei

IMG_5642_resizeThe speciality of this temple is that there are big trees growing throughout the temple. Most of the tress have their roots within the stone blocks of the temple from which it has grown.

Trees in Banteay Kdei

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With trees growing and giving the temple a mysterious look this place has become very famous and even movies such as Tomb Raider are shot here. The guide showed us the tree which was used for the shooting of tomb raider.

Famous Trees

IMG_5669_resizeApart from the trees there are carvings of aparas as well. Spending some time here we headed to the Royal Baths a huge man made public bathing system which was used by the people and the royals alike. This is present next to Angkor Wat. As it was already afternoon, we broke for lunch at a hotel near royal baths.

The royal baths

IMG_5682_resizePost lunch break we headed to the most famous of all temples The Angkor Wat . The temple complex is a world heritage site and was constructed in the first of 12th century by king suryavarman II. The temple was initially built as a hindu temple when cambodia was ruled by hindu kings and later became a buddhist temple. This is also one of the largest temple complexes in the world.

We entered the west side of angkor wat as it has less tourists. The temple has 3 main towers and has various levels. Each level has various carvings and has significance based on the type of religious activity that is done

West entrance of angkor wat

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The angkor wat is a massive complex and there are 3 main towers which stand out pre-dominently. The first level of the temple contains carvings of a battle scene where we can see the king on top of his elephant with his other soldiers.

To enter the upper levels of the temple one needs to climb the steps which are steep. The carvings of the aparas are more detailed here than other temples. Once we go inside we can see various buddha statues in his various avatars.

Apasaras

IMG_5723_resizeThe temple also has inscriptions similar to the ones in Banteay Srei. At each level we can see buddha statues indicating the influence of buddhism has had towards the later part of the khmer empire

Inscriptions and Buddha Statues

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IMG_5744_resizeThe temple following the other temples has libraries. Taking photos of the central tower and other statues within the temple we spent some time roaming inside the huge complex. Ideally one would require around 2-3 hours to cover every inch of the temple. We spent approximately the same amount of time admiring the wonderful architecture .

Central Tower

IMG_5734_resizeAs we headed to the lower level we could see more carvings on the wall. The carvings depicts a story from Mahabharata.

Carvings

IMG_5760_resizeWe headed out of the temple after couple of hours. Once we come out we can see Angkor Wat it all its glory with its reflection in the waters surrouding the moat. This photo has become very popular and I could experiment with various angles.

Angkor Wat Reflection

IMG_5773_resizeCouple more snaps of the towers and we exited the complex biding adeiu to the temple.

The 3 towers

IMG_5786_resizeThe outer portion of the temple contains a large statue of buddha which is worshipped by the people. Few more snaps and we headed back to the hotel thus ending a wonderful tour.

Buddha

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About Subbu
Name: Subbu Interests : Trekking,travelling Hobbies: Photography

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