SOUTH EAST ASIA 2013

ANGKOR TEMPLES - DAY 3

All photos © Ruud Leeuw

 

 

 

We start off with some photos taken en route:
Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
Family going to work?

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
A political rally in progress; government is weak, corruption is widespread and foreign investments are easily accepted without making the local people benefit as well.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
I think this may have been a gate of Banteay Kdei, but am not sure. We were on our way to Ta Keo.

 

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
We drove past a series of towers, Prasats Suor Prat, their use is obscure; this is near Terrace of the Leper King.

 

 

 

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
And so we arrived at Ta Keo temple. Ta Keo is a temple-mountain in Angkor, possibly the first to be built entirely of sandstone by Khmers. It came highly recommended on various websites, so we included Ta Keo on our 3rd and last day of visit to the Angkor temples.

For this visit we chartered a tuk-tuk. The way things go here: our driver, Su Thorn, who drove us in a van on the excursion the day before asked us how long we stayed and if he could be of service the next day..? Upon which we said 'no, we'll hire a tuk-tuk'. On which he replied 'I have a tuk-tuk'! We paid US$ 15 plus tip.
So we planned visits to Ta Keo, Preah Khan and Ta Som temples.

Only at breakfast on this day, 30 minutes before our driver showed up, we realized we should have gone for a sunset photoshoot! But it was too late to change the plan and our pass was only valid for 3 days.
I blame the heat, half the time I couldn't think straight and had decided not to plan too strictly this trip!

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013

Ta Keo had to be the state temple of Jayavarman V, son of Rajendravarman, who had built Pre Rup (see Day 2).
Like Pre Rup, it has 5 sanctuary towers arranged in a quincunx, built on the uppermost level of five-tier pyramid consisting of overlapping terraces (a step pyramid), surrounded by moat, as a symbolic depiction of Mount Meru.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
Ta Keo's particularly massive appearance is due to the more or less absence of external decorations, as carving had just begun when the works stopped.

Work on Ta Keo started in 968, initiated by Jayavarman V (who was then was 10 years old when and
had succeeded his father, Rajendravarman). Ta Keo was dedicated some time around 1000.
The temple was continuously in use, as a cult center, until the 13th century.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
Chinese funding involved in the restorations here. For the Chinese tourist trade it is important to keep restorations
ongoing. It has been rumored that the entire Angkor complex was to be copied & to be rebuild in India, to safeguard the heritage. But this could have negative influence on the (Chinese) tourist industry.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
I like the atmosphere of a temple surrounded by jungle here.

Artist at Angkor
I came across a very talented young man here; he normally sits at Angkor Wat but found that morning his usual location taken. Business was slow at this spot; while Ta Keo comes recommended in the travel guides, it is a steep climb up to where he sat and only a few people had taken the trouble.
I thought his work was brilliant. There is a studio among the Angkor temples, but did not get round to visiting it. Bought two paintings by him (including the one he's holding), am very pleased with them.

Map of Angkor
From Ta Keo to Preah Khan; and our final visit Ta Som sits on the right of Preah Khan.

 

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
Made our driver stop for this beautiful gate.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
The naga is severely damaged but the smiling face is intact, probably cleaned.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
The same gate, seen from the other side.

Angkor Temples, Cambodia 2013
A chance meeting with women gathering fire wood. Note the naga in the background.

 

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Information on PREAH KHAN

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)

 

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Preah Khan was built in the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII. It is located northeast of Angkor Thom. Like the nearby Ta Prohm, Preah Khan has been left largely unrestored, with numerous trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins.
Preah Khan was built on the site of Jayavarman VII's victory over the invading Chams in 1191.

The outer wall of Preah Khan is of laterite, and bears 72 garudas holding nagas, at 50 m intervals. Surrounded by a moat, it measures 800 by 700 m and encloses an area of 56 hectares (140 acres).

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
The rearing head of Naga is damaged, but there is plenty of detail to enjoy.
The Naga King is a cobra-like serpent with seven heads. He is a God of the Underworld; he is the Lord of Kampuchea (Cambodia); he is a symbol of the nature, the land, the water, and of female power.

 

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
It was pleasant to be able to walk on a ground plan; by this time I had climbed enough temple mountains...

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Again very fine decorations.

The temple is still largely unrestored; the initial clearing was from 1927 to 1932. Free-standing statues have been removed for safe-keeping and there has been further consolidation and restoration work.
Clearing works were undertaken with a constant respect for the large trees which gives the composition an exciting presentation.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
We were intercepted by young 'guides', who took us from the path through
the middle of the temple, out on the walls. This provided for some sights
we would have not seen otherwise. Not for free, of course.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Richly decorated; nature may have put the green cast on it, don't know where the red dye comes from.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
-

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Isn't this superb, out of this world?

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
This actually looks like a multi-storied house; haven't seen anything like it at other temples.

Since 1991, the Preah Khan site has been maintained by the World Monuments Fund. It has continued the cautious approach to restoration, believing that to go further would involve too much guesswork, and prefers to respect the ruined nature of the temple.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
And again a building seperate from the temple, something I haven't seen much at other temples.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
These 'strangler fig trees' (Ficus religiosa): absolutely brilliant, eh?

 

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Parched while sweating profusely, I made my way to where my business was eagerly anticipated!

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
A fresh pineapple is a fine remedy for thirst. She wielded that bloody sharp knife expertedly. Very kind people.

 

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Our driver took us to Neak Poan, a small temple next to Ta Som. It is surrounded by a flooded area.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Unfortunately we couldn't get any closer than this, a barrier blocked the way.

Neak Pean (or Neak Poan) at Angkor, is an artificial island with a Buddhist temple on a circular island in
Preah Khan Baray; it was built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Neak Pean was originally designed for medical purposes, as it is one of the many hospitals that Jayavarman VII built. It is based on the ancient Hindu belief of balance. Four connected pools represent Water, Earth, Fire and Wind.

We could view it only from the base and not walk around it; there was no explanation for the limited access. Disappointing. But it was right across Ta Som temple, so I guess our tuk-tuk driver delivered us to this temple as a kind gesture.
www.aboutasiatravel.com

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
NEAK POAN

 

 

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Our 'last' temple; by this time we were getting saturated, we'd seen enough temples. But one more couldn't hurt.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Ta Som was built at the end of the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII.
It is located north east of Angkor Thom and just east of Neak Pean.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
The temple consists of a single shrine located on one level and surrounded by enclosure laterite walls.
Like the nearby Preah Khan and Ta Prohm the temple was left largely unrestored, with numerous trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Something about a male and female symbol, but I lost the details of all that.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
There is incredible detail in these figurines, e.g. the facial expressions are all different.

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
In 1998, the World Monuments Fund (WMF) added the Ta Som temple to their restoration program and began work to stabilise the structure to make it safer for visitors

Angkor temples, Cambodia (2013)
Study the info on Wikipedia, as it has an image of a gate, 'gopura', I regret to have missed.
But it was enough, more than enough. Enjoyed it all tremendously and there is always that 'I want it all'.., but no.

 

 

External LINKS:
www.canbypublications.com/siemreap/srstarted.htm - a good place to get started
www.angkorguide.net/en/library/khmer-mythology-religion/naga/the-secret-story-of-the-naga
Ta Keo on Wikipedia
Preah Khan on Wikipedia
Ta Som on Wikipedia
Ãnd various temples discussed here:
http://unchartedruins.blogspot.nl
http://www.guideinangkor.com/

 

 

 

BANGKOK 3-2013, a start
PHNOM PENH, CAPITAL OF CAMBODIA
ROYAL PALACE & SILVER PAGODA
STREETS of PHNOM PENH
CAMBODIA'S KILLING FIELDS
COACH TRANSFER PHNOM PENH TO SIEM REAP
SIEM REAP
DAY 1 AT THE ANGKOR TEMPLES
DAY 2 AT THE ANGKOR TEMPLES
CHONG KHNEAS FLOATING VILLAGE (TONLÉ SAP LAKE)
KOMPONG PHLUK FLOATING VILLAGE (TONLÉ SAP LAKE)
LUANG PRABANG (LAOS) CITY
LUANG PRABANG EXCURSIONS
BANGKOK 3-2013, the end

Map Angkor

 


 

 

 

Page compiled/updated: 04-May-2013 / 18-Jul-2013