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Angkor Temples

Angkor Temples
 

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HTML clipboardFor once, the modern name of a temple is completely justified. Angkor Wat, the 'city [which became a] pagoda', was not only the grandest and most sublime of all the Khmer temples, but also a city in its own right. It was built during the reign of Suryavarman II, in the first half of the 12th century, both as the capital and the State Temple dedicated to Vishnu.
 Plan
 The outer limits of Angkor Wat are set by its broad moat, faced in laterite and sandstone. Including this, the total area is almost 200 hectares - a rectangle of 1.5 km E-W by 1.3 km N-S, the largest temple at Angkor. Two causeways at W and E cross the 190m-wide moat to the outer enclosure, bounded by a laterite wall of 1025m by 802m. Because of Angkor Wat's unusual orientation, the W gopura of this outer enclosure is by far the largest of the four.
 Within the 82 hectares of the outer enclosure, the temple itself stands in the middle on a terrace measuring 332 x 258m, nearly 9 hectares. The remaining 9/10ths of the area was taken up with the city, including the royal palace, although of course no trace remains of these buildings, presumably constructed in light materials. Following tradition, the palace would have been to the north of the actual temple.
 The temple proper combines two major features of Khmer architecture: a pyramid and concentric galleries. Pyramids, which in most cases were created by means of stepped terraces, date back to the 8th century Ak Yum and the better known 9th century Bakong, and were the Khmer method of symbolising the centre of the Hindu universe, Mount Meru, in the form of a temple-mountain. Galleries, however, evolved later, around the beginning of the 11th century; they were the natural succession to a growing number of annex buildings surrounding the sanctuary. Angkor Wat is, to put it as simply as possible, a pyramid of three levels, each one enclosed by a well-developed gallery with four gopuras and corner towers. The summit is crowned with five towers in a quincunx.
OTHER ANGKO TEMPLES:
Angkor Temples
Symbolism
The bas-reliefs
Battle of Kurukshetra
SW Corner Pavilion
Procession of Suryavarman II
Judgement of Yama, and Heavens and Hells
Churning of the Sea of Milk
Vishnu's Victory over the asuras
Krishna's Victory over the asura Bana
Battle between gods and asuras
Battle of Lanka
NW Corner Pavilion
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