Sunday, April 10, 2011

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Hi, thanks for coming. I went to Canbodia in December 2010/January 2011. I have posted photos of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Angkor Thom, the Children of Cambodia, Ta Promh, and now this is the final posting of the famous of all - Angkor Wat. The sequence of photos follows sunrise, a day visit, and finally sunset. And as sun sets on Angkor Wat I know I have to go back there. It is an enchanting place in our world. If you haven't been I hope you go too.

At 5.30 am on a surprisingly cool morning we set off for the journey that so many have done before us - to see the sun rise behind Angkor Wat.
The first few photos were taken as the sun rose. It was magical.

Dramatic sky with reflection in the pond

The water lilies already saluting
the dawn

The morning crowd, all
hoping for the perfect photo

The sky lightens

And now it is light. Wonderful to witness.
Worth the early rise and time for breakfast!

It's best, for photography, to visit the temple
from the east entrance in the morning to get
the sun behind you.

A monk walks in the gardens

Angkor Wat was built in the
early 12th century. It was built to
be the state temple and capital city
of King Suryavarman II. At this
time the Khmer Empire ruled most
of what is now Southeast Asia.

Many stories, mostly of Hindu battles
are told on the walls of the temple

It was dedicated to the Hindu God,
Vishnu, the creator and destroyer
of all human existence

This is a very special (to me)
manifestation of human existence!

There are thousands of devatas (guardian spirits)
and apsaras (celestial beings) carved in bas-relief
on the walls of Angkor Wat. Devata is a: 'female
divinity', in Cambodia depicted in bas‐relief with
bare chest, wearing a long sampot'
(Brugier/Lacroix, p. 260). 'Apsara: nymphs of the
water, created at the churning of the sea.' Apsara
are creatures, not deities. Ravishing beauties,
they are dancing in the heaven for the amusement
of the gods. (Brugier/Lacroix, p. 259).

Angkor Wat is the world's largest religious
building. After it's Hindu origins it became
a Buddhist temple

Angkor Wat is a national symbol
and it appears on the Cambodian
national flag

Angkor was declared as a World Heritage
Site by UNESCO, in 1992.

Compelling sculptures of devatas.

I love the colour contrasts in
this photo

There are more devatas (the
standing ladies) than apsaras(the
dancing ladies).

It is thought there are about 2000
sculptures of devatas/apsaras at
Angkor Wat

Just to show we were there!


Love the lines on this one

Many armed form

It's so old!

Look closely at the figurines

And now it's sunset

Monks returning after their visit

This shows a small part of the moat that
surrounds Angkor Wat

A very different light to the sunrise

Children playing in the early evening

The sun sets and we begin to walk home

Our last night visit to Angkor Wat

Sad but heart-full

Committed to going back

Next time photos of an "old" part of Singapore!