Siem Reap, Cambodia
16.01.2012 - 16.01.2012
Bayon Temple - Angkor Archaeological Park
The Bayon Temple (Khmer: Prasat Bayon) is a magnificient temple located within the Angkor Archaeological Park, it's distinctive feature being the massive stone faces on it's tower, believed to be those of Avalokitesvara (a Boddhisattva). Though each face looks the same from far, there are 200+ in total, with a closure look you can find that each one is different when it comes to facial expression. The temple is believed to have been built in the 13th century AD as the state temple of the Khmer Mahayana Buddhist Emperor Jayavarman VII and stands at the centre of the Angkor Thom (capital city of Jayavaraman). During the time of his successor Jayavarman VIII, who reverted back to Hinduism, the temple was altered to look like a Hindu Temple. So, today we find evidences of both Buddhism and Hinduism in the reliefs of this temple.
On the walls of the temple, there are bas-reliefs depicting historical events like army marches, scenes from the everyday life during the Angkorian times, Hindu mythological events and figures such as those of the Hindu trinity of Gods (Siva, Vishnu and Brahma), Apsaras (celestial dancers), Garuda (mythical bird) and Ravana (the mythical demon king from Hindu epic Ramayana).