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Angkor Wat

A PERSONAL NOTE

It was before my photography days (2009-10). Walking around Chelsea in New York City, I stumbled across a sign for a book opening in front of Sundaram Tagore Galleries. The poster drew me in. It was titled 'Elegy : Reflections of Angkor' and the Photographer was John McDermott. I went in and looked at the full size prints of his photographs. Was I fascinated !! It had an impact and probably planted the lasting photography bug in me. I of course bought the book. It was very steeply priced I thought then. But it enamored me.

The whole experience of going through the book, (and eventually reading 11 more books and a few research papers ) started me into a fascinating journey. I bought my first serious camera and decided to learn it. It was Canon 5D mark II. It took me to places like the very similar ruins of Vijayanagra in Hampi, Badami, Mahakoota, old temples in Kerala and a few others in India. But somehow, Angkor Wat remained an elusive place. Whenever I planned to visit it, something or the other went wrong (eventually covid ). Finally last month the deep desire helped me to overcome this eleven year itch by making the 31 hour journey to Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Here are some of the pictures from the trip. There are many more photos taken by me over a period of 3 weeks. A lot of them are for documenting the temples. I would not burden Pbase viewers with them. The one's I feel have some photographic value are being presented here. I Hope that you will like them.

Please feel free to contact me and/or post any comments and critiques.


ABOUT ANGKOR WAT

Angkor Wat, temple complex at Angkor, near Siem Reap, Cambodia, was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II (reigned 1113–c. 1150). The vast religious complex of Angkor Wat comprises more than a thousand buildings, and it is one of the great cultural wonders of the world. Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious structure, covering some 400 acres (160 hectares), and marks the high point of Khmer architecture.

The city of Angkor served as the royal centre from which a dynasty of Khmer kings ruled one of the largest, most prosperous, and most sophisticated kingdoms in the history of Southeast Asia. From the end of the 9th century until early in the 13th century, numerous construction projects were undertaken, the most notable of which was Angkor Wat. It was built by Suryavarman II as a vast funerary temple within which his remains were to be deposited. Construction is believed to have spanned some three decades.

All of the original religious motifs derived from Hinduism, and the temple was dedicated to the gods Shiva, Brahma, and Vishnu. The five central towers of Angkor Wat symbolize the peaks of Mount Meru, which according to Hindu mythology is the dwelling place of the gods. The mountain is said to be surrounded by an ocean, and the complex’s enormous moat suggests the oceans at the edge of the world. A 617-foot (188-metre) bridge allows access to the site. The temple is reached by passing through three galleries, each separated by a paved walkway. The temple walls are covered with bas-relief sculptures of very high quality, representing Hindu gods and ancient Khmer scenes as well as scenes from the Mahabharata and the Ramayana.

After the Cham people of modern-day Vietnam sacked Angkor in 1177, King Jayavarman VII (reigned 1181–c. 1220) decided that the Hindu gods had failed him. When he built a new capital nearby, Angkor Thom, he dedicated it to Buddhism. Thereafter, Angkor Wat became a Buddhist shrine, and many of its carvings and statues of Hindu deities were replaced by Buddhist art.

In the early 15th century Angkor was abandoned. Still Theravada Buddhist monks maintained Angkor Wat, which remained an important pilgrimage site and continued to attract European visitors. Angkor Wat was “rediscovered” after the French colonial regime was established in 1863.

In the 20th century various restoration programs were undertaken, but they were suspended amid the political unrest that engulfed Cambodia in the 1970s. When work resumed in the mid-1980s, the required repairs were extensive. Notably, sections had to be dismantled and rebuilt. In 1992 the Angkor complex, which included Angkor Wat, was designated a World Heritage site by UNESCO and was immediately added to the list of World Heritage in Danger. In the ensuing years, restoration efforts increased, and Angkor was removed from the danger list in 2004. Today Angkor Wat is one of the most important pilgrimage shrines in Southeast Asia and a popular tourist attraction. The temple complex appears on the Cambodian flag.

Source https://www.britannica.com/topic/Angkor-Wat



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Angkor Wat in Monochrome
Angkor Wat in Monochrome
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Koh Ker
Koh Ker
Prasat Preah Palilay
Prasat Preah Palilay
Chau Say Tevoda Temple
Chau Say Tevoda Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Pre Rup Temple
Pre Rup Temple
Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple
The Gate of the Dead
The Gate of the Dead
Baphoun Temple
Baphoun Temple
Angkor Wat Temple
Angkor Wat Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Prasat Banteay Pir Chaon
Prasat Banteay Pir Chaon
Wat Athvear Temple
Wat Athvear Temple
Ta Nei Temple
Ta Nei Temple
The Baphoun Temple
The Baphoun Temple
Baentey Kdei Temple
Baentey Kdei Temple
Prasat Thom
Prasat Thom
Preah Khan temple
Preah Khan temple
Preah Khan Temple
Preah Khan Temple
The Baphoun Temple
The Baphoun Temple
The Bayon Temple
The Bayon Temple
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
The Bayon Temple
The Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple
Bakong temple
Bakong temple
Prasat Banteay Srei
Prasat Banteay Srei
Prasat Suor Prat
Prasat Suor Prat
North Gate  - Angkor Thom
North Gate - Angkor Thom
Baentey Kdei Temple
Baentey Kdei Temple
Koh Ker
Koh Ker
Preah Khan Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Preah Khan Temple
Baphoun Temple
Baphoun Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Ta Prohm Temple
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Baphoun Temple
Baphoun Temple
Terrace of the Leper King
Terrace of the Leper King
Bayon Temple
Bayon Temple
Baentey Kdei Temple
Baentey Kdei Temple
Ta Som
Ta Som
Wat Athvear Temple
Wat Athvear Temple
Ta Nei Temple
Ta Nei Temple
Wat Athvear Temple
Wat Athvear Temple
Banteay Samre
Banteay Samre
Gate of the Dead
Gate of the Dead
Prasat Banteay Pir Chaon
Prasat Banteay Pir Chaon
Gate of the Dead
Gate of the Dead
Prasat Preah Palilay
Prasat Preah Palilay
Terrace of the Leper King
Terrace of the Leper King
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