Angkor Wat the model of universe

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat panorama

And so, tired but in good moods, we arrived in front of the magnificent Angkor Wat. When Frenchman Henri Mouhot discovered the complex in 1860, the natives of the Cambodian jungle were not sure who had built it. They thought that it could have been built by gods, or even by giants!

Behind the first gate we met the American couple from Cambodian border. Their trip was a nightmare. They were charged twice for the visa. First time by some men who met them before the border and second time at the border. They were very abusing and would not give the money back. The American went to Tourist Police and only then got the money back. When they were in Cambodia one of the taxi drivers took their luggage while they were bargaining the price (had ticket for the same bus as we did) and wanted to take off while the girl was inside and the guy outside almost driving over his feet. The girl was scared and wanted to jump out of the car when it stopped. So you see how careful you need to be. make sure you pass the border early afternoon.

Entrance to Angkor Wat
Entrance to Angkor Wat

The temple is just amazing, has several levels and different dimensions.  The temple complex is made of three successively raised, galleried temples. The five towers of Angkor Wat represent the five peaks of Mount Meru, the home of Vishnu. The towers are not the only symbolic elements of the complex. The whole site, in fact, may have been modeled after the Hindu vision of the universe. Moats, called barays, surround Angkor Wat and symbolize the primodial waters at the base of Mount Meru. The complex itself is almost perfectly symmetrical, and may be a kind of astronomy tool. Even the number of windows, pillars, and steps in various parts of the complex may be representative of the number of days in the solar and lunar calendars. The complex faces west unlike the rest of the temples that face east: in the direction of the afterlife in Hinduism.We came across two Buddha statues in robes which are treated as a place of peregrination. Several monks took pictures of themselves and Buddha and

Young monk in Angkor
Monk

I took pictures of them. The temple is most known for extensive storytelling decoration.

Wall cravings at Angkor Wat
Wall cravings at Angkor Wat

These decorations depict gods, apsaras, dancers, battle scenes, mythological events and adventures, stories from the Hindu epics Mahabharata and Ramayana, and war scenes featuring the king and the Khmer army.

The five towers can be reached by twelve very steep stairways, were once covered with stucco and gilded gold decorations; the bas relief carvings too were gold-coated. Only traces of these grand decorations remain.

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