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Old April 10th, 2010, 02:32 PM   #561
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Old April 10th, 2010, 02:37 PM   #562
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Within the temple is a maze of corridors and alleys, and stone carvings everywhere you look.












Tourists can take photos with these young girls in traditional costumes... for a fee of course.



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Old April 11th, 2010, 12:04 PM   #563
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ANGKOR THOM: BAPHUON

Believed to be one of Angkor's temples, Baphuon was built by King Udayadityavarman II in the 11th century. The temple is approached via a 200-meter long raised causeway.








A Hindu temple, Baphuon's pyramidical mountain form represents Mount Meru, the mythical home of the gods. It has four gateways. Each is decorated with elegant bas-reliefs, with scenes from Hindu epics. A central tower with four entrances once stood at its summit, but has long since collapsed. Badly damaged, the temple is now undergoing restoration and access is restricted.





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Old April 11th, 2010, 12:08 PM   #564
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In front of the temple are stone block pieces... perhaps an indication that construction of the temple was halted for some reason and abandoned thereafter.






Adjacent to Baphuon is the temple-palace of Phimeanakas. They are separated by a wall with an imposing access gateway.



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Old April 12th, 2010, 11:25 AM   #565
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ANGKOR THOM: PHIMEANAKAS

The east gate of Phimeanakas is elaborate and an attraction on its own.










From the gate, it's a long walk to the temple.

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Old April 12th, 2010, 11:34 AM   #566
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The royal temple-palace of Phimeanakas was built during the 10th century by King Rajendravarman II and added to later by Jayavarman VII. Dedicated to Hinduism, it is also known as the Celestial Palace, and is associated with the legend of a golden tower that once stood there, and where a nine-headed serpent resided.




The pyramid-shaped palace is rectangular at the base, and surrounded by a 5-meter high wall of laterite enclosing an area of around 15 hectares. There are elephant figures at each of the four corners of the pyramid.






It has 5 entrance ways, and the stairs, which are flanked by guardian lions, rise up on all four sides. The stairs are so steep and the treads so narrow that climbing up or down is a struggle.







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Old April 12th, 2010, 11:44 AM   #567
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Near the temple are two huge ponds. Notice the stepped stone border... probably they're ancient bathing pools.








Next to the pool is the north gate.



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Old April 12th, 2010, 08:57 PM   #568
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Very interesting travelogue Bong!
Can't wait for the next set of photos!
Padayon!



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Old April 13th, 2010, 06:44 AM   #569
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Thanks JP.
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Old April 13th, 2010, 12:00 PM   #570
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ANGKOR THOM: TERRACE OF ELEPHANTS

Built by King Jayavarman VII, the Terrace of the Elephants is over 300 meters long, stretching from the Baphuon to the connecting Terrace of the Leper King. It has three main platforms and two smaller ones. The terrace was primarily used for royal reviews of military and other parades.











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Old April 13th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #571
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The entire terrace is elaborately decorated with almost life size images of sandstone elephants in a procession and accompanied by mahouts. There are many images of tigers, lions, serpents, sacred geese, and Garuda, the eagle mount of Vishnu.









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Old April 13th, 2010, 12:11 PM   #572
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Old April 14th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #573
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ANGKOR THOM: TERRACE OF THE LEPER KING

The small platform that is the Terrace of the Leper King dates back from the late 12th century. The exact function of this terrace, which appears to be an extension of the Terrace of the Elephants, is not clear. It was probably used either for royalreceptions or cremations.










The terrace is marked by two walls, both beautifully decorated with exquisite bas-reliefs. Of the two, the inner one is more remarkable, and is covered with figures of the underworld deities, kings, celestial females, gods, warriors and strange marine creatures.

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Old April 14th, 2010, 11:54 AM   #574
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However, the other wall is more popular because it is exposed to public view from outside, hence it is more pictuesque.













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Old April 14th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #575
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Opposite the Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King is the Prasat Suor Prat. These are twelve nearly identical laterite and sandstone towers. The towers do not display the classic Bayon-style characteristics. It has been argued that they may be post-Bayon or perhaps much earlier, as early as 11th century.














A few meters to the east of Prasat Suor Prat is the Victory Gate, one of the Angkor Thom's access way.

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Old April 14th, 2010, 07:03 PM   #576
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Beautiful, very nice photos as well
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Old April 15th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #577
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TA PROHM TEMPLE
Set 1


Perhaps the most evocative and mysterious of all the temple structures at Angkor, Ta Prohm, which means Ancestor of Brahma, was originally a Buddhist monastery, built during King jayavarman VII's reign. At its peak, it owned more than 3,000 villages, and was maintained by 80,000 attendants, including 18 high priests and over 600 temple dancers.

Unlike Angkor Thom where several temples are confined in a massive complex, Ta Prohm is a walled temple on its own, The entrance gate, however, is not in good condition, but its stone engravings are still a sight visually amazing..










The temple is a short walk from the gate.



Along the way is a small structure that is heavily damaged.





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Old April 15th, 2010, 11:35 AM   #578
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The temple sits on the peak of a hill and has a complex of stone buildings, surrounded by a rectangular laterite wall. The main entrance is decaying yet magnificent, and filled with images of the Buddha that were recovered from the ruins.















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Old April 15th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #579
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After passing through the main entrance is a sight like no other.









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Old April 15th, 2010, 11:46 AM   #580
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The French started their archeological restoration during the colonial period, and a deliberate attempt was made to preserve Ta Prohm in its existing condition, limiting restoration, and cutting down as little of the dense jungle. As a result, the temple buildings remain smothered with the roots of giant banyan trees, preserving the atmosphere that 19th century explorers must have experienced.


















TO BE CONTINUED... IN SET 2
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