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Pattaya Daily News

12 April 2010 :: 17:04:34 pm 18090

The Wonders of Angkor Wat

Angkor is one of the most amazing archaeological sites in South East Asia, covering around 400 km2, including forestry and is host to the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire ranging from the 9th to the 15th century. The famous Temple of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and the Bayon Temple now have a program to safeguard and conserve the site and its symbolic surroundings.
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During the Angkor period, the Khmer empire was one of the most powerful South East Asian kingdoms. The whole of Angkor was built in this period. Angkor period 802 – 1431. Jayavarman II’s other accomplishments were the deification of the Cambodian monarchy, the establishment of and the western Mebon. This now brings us close to the peak of the Khmer civilization.

The last of the temples, show a high level of civilization with a great taste for art. It was an enormous job that involved an army of thousands of workers doing the building, moving of rocks and materials and also another army of artists and artisans.the devaraja cult as the state religion, and the joining of the old kingdom of Chenla, which he expanded and formed into the Khmer Empire.

Jayavarman II, thought to be of Khmer descent, came from Java, where he was said to have been held in captivity or exile. Once on the throne, he began to conquer Land Chenla and Water Chenla. Being an unwilling puppet, he defied the Javanese and asserted Khmer independence in 802, when he declared himself Devaraja meaning ‘Good King’, ruler of Phnom Kulen. Jayavarman II, born around 770 AD, was founder of the Khmer Empire and the highly thought of member of all the rulers of the kingdom.

From the minute he arrived from Java, Jayavarman II established a series of capitals, first at Indrapura, on the lower Mekong River east of Kompong Cham then moving northward at Hariharalaya southeast of present-day Siem Reap and then at Mahendraparvata, in the region just north of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake), not far from Angkor, which was the next seat of the Khmer Empire that remained its capital for 600 years. Jayavarman II died in 850 AD receiving a posthumous name Paramesvara meaning Supreme Lord. He was succeeded by his son Jayavarman III.

Indravarman, a king considered by many to be a usurper, started building the Baray, a complex irrigation system bringing water to the area of Angkor and also the Bakong and the Preah Ko temples. His son Yasovarman continued his father’s project, building the Phnom Bakheng and the Lolei temples and through him Angkor became the new capital of the kingdom.

The capital was later moved to Koh Ker for a short period, under the rule of Jayavarman IV, another usurper, but after only 14 years Angkor become again the capital under Rajendravarman II. Jayavarman V, became a great king, and with him the empire expanded and two wonderful temples, Banteay Srei and Ta Keo were built. Udayaditavarman II came next, building the pyramid of Baphuon.

Siem Reap houses the greatest temples of Angkor Wat with the area being considered the largest temple complex of the world, revealing itself after years of being hidden in the jungle. Good shoes are required if planning to make it round the whole of Angkor on foot or for those who would like an aerial view, hot air balloons or helicopters are available to rent.

There are more than 100 temples in the area, which will take you more than one day to visit and to describe each one in detail, would entail writing a book. Angkor Wat is definitely one to put on your list of places to visit with each wall telling a story of the lives and customs of these people.

Photo : Internet   Category : Travel

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Hugh Jorgan

Hugh Jorgan