Thursday, February 12, 2009

Temples of Angkor: Bayon

The Bayon
Constructed: Late 12th Century
King/Patron: Jayavarman VII
Religion: Buddhist
Style: Bayon

After Angkor Wat the next temple on the need to see list is the Bayon. Constructed in the late 12th century by King Jayavarman VII it is an imposing structure with 37 towers. It was built directly in the center of the city.

A small reclining Buddha.

Buddha inside the Bayon.

Ever get the feeling you're being watched? Well, at the Bayon you are! Carved along the towers and walls are 216 faces of Bodhisattva, a Buddhist figure, though some say the face is a combination of Kings Jayavarman VII's face mixed in with Buddha.

The face of Buddha.... or is the the King? Coincidence that Buddha was made to look like the King? ;)
More faces of Buddha

Buddha's still watching you...
You can't hide from Buddha at the Bayon.

Not Buddha, but a Lion Statue guarding the temple.

Just outside the temple is the fascinating outer wall with 1200 meters of bas relief depicting life in the 12th century. You can see depictions of war, sea battles between the Khmer and the Cham, cock fighting, games, child birth, wrestling, and kick boxing.
Wall with the bas relief.

Cock fighting

Marching to war with elephants.

A crocodile.

Child birth.

Sea Battle.

Dog fighting? I'm not sure, but that's what it looks like to me.

Khmer Warriors.

More warriors.

Khmer kickboxing which looks similar to Thai kickboxing. Image from wikipedia article on Pradal Serey.

I think this might be a depiction of daily life.

Horses, not sure if it's for war or just daily life.

Soldiers marching off to war.

More war.

I saw this near by the Bayon.

A Cambodian child at play in the Bayon.

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